Monday, August 29, 2011

My brain cannot compute

My little legs logged 23.6 miles on Saturday.

Let's repeat that...

23.6 MILES.

I ran 20 of those and walked 3.6.  A year ago I could barely run 3 miles and now I'm capable of running 20 miles?


My brain can't even computer the amount of time and effort 20 miles takes. Seriously.  It's like my brain just shuts off and doesn't even realize that it is running.  Time goes by and the miles tick on.  I get asked frequently how I even prepare myself mentally for a run like that, and the answer is that you can't.  I just take the run section by section.  This is pretty much how it goes for me:

"I'm going for a 5 mile run today!"

...5 miles later...

"I'm going to go for a short 5 mile run back to my house!"

...5 miles later and after filling up with more water...

"A 5 mile run sure sounds like a good idea!"

...5 miles later...

 "A short 5 mile run would be a great right about now!"

And that's how I trick myself.  I don't go for long runs.  I go for multiple short runs right in a row. It's the only way that I can override my brain.  20 miles = absolutely terrifying.  5 miles = manageable.  Now you know my secret!

I should confess that the 20 miles I ran were not done consecutively.  I ran/walked 15 miles before my left knee decided to rebel and I had to walk the mile and a half home (sulking) to go ice my knee and try again an hour later.  An hour later it was MEGA hot outside (95+) so I opted to bust out the old treadmill that I haven't ran on in nearly a year!  It was a bit crazy to be running on that for 7 miles steady when last year at this time I was working my way up to being able to run for 2-3 minutes straight.  Crazy how much progress can be made in one year!

So now I'm officially done with my long runs.  Marathon is in less than 3 weeks.  And I am ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED.

Any advice for a newbie?  


  1. Nice job!!!! 20 miles is FAR! I too ran four five mile runs this weekend ;). I chuckled reading this because that's exactly how I managed to complete mine as well.
    Good luck in your taper! You deserve it!

  2. That's awesome! I can't imagine running that far. The most I ever did was 17 miles (Hood to Coast last year)! And that was split up into 3 runs.

  3. I love your way of thinking about a long run, I'm going to have to try that out. No need to be terrified! You can totally handle three more miles. Have fun tapering!

  4. Amen sister!! I completely agree with everything you said and I am so incredibly proud of you.

    My only advice is to live in the moment and enjoy the journey. GU before you think you need it and hydrate at all of the aid stations. You are strong physically and mentally and you are ready!

  5. Wow you are awesome. I can't wait to read the marathon recap, I'l be running my first marathon in January.

  6. ahhhhhh!!! friend I am so excited for you!!! if i were going to be here i would totally be AT THE RACE cheering you on. you are definitely ready. i will be in ky but will be texting you, thinking about you and waiting anxiously to hear how it goes!

    so true about splitting it up. that is totally the way to go! i have to do that as well! congrats girl. can't wait for you to be a marathoner :)

  7. OH!!!! You are so ready for this marathon!! You are going to do amazing!!!! Breaking long runs up like that mentally is the only way to get through them! I have never ran longer than 13.1, but even then, I had to break it up in smaller mileage sections!!

    I'm so excited for you!!!! Great job!

  8. Becky!!!! OMG!!!! I can't believe you ran 23 miles!!!!! YOU ARE AMAZING!!!! Love love love LOVE times a million! you can use the marathon to think of all the fun things we'll do when I visit!!! :)

  9. Don't worry about the non-consecutive thing. 20 miles is 20 miles and it's still great training.

    A girl told me on my 20 mile run (that was really hard for me) this weekend that all your training builds up and it's basically like built-up fatigue.

    So, when it comes time for your marathon, you will be all rested and ready to go with that taper time. You will rock it!

  10. Oh my gosh you are sooo cool. Way to bust out 23.6 miles. That's incredible. Don't fret, we will all be rooting for you! So proud of you and you are going to rock that marathon!!