20 and Making it Real.

In 15 days I will be a marathoner.

I know that no matter what happens I can finish 26.2 miles running the streets of DC with my bestie Jess.  That’s a pretty amazing feeling and it’s one that I really doubted along this journey.

Let’s flashback to Friday when I drove down to Atlanta after checking the weather 3000 times to see Jess.  We went for our standard pre-long-run steak dinner on Friday night and then went straight to bed.  Training makes us sleepy.  Then we were up early to get ready for our 20.  20 miles.  I have no idea where we ran – I think Jess posted about that if you’re local to ATL.  We started with 2 miles and then met with her MARC running group friends.  What a friendly bunch of runners!  I just love the way running brings people together.  It makes me happy and proud to call myself a runner.  We split with the group around mile 9 I think.  We were trying to figure out how much longer we needed to run until we turned around and the math was really hard.  It took a long time because math is hard when you’re running.

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Yeah I realize that’s the same picture from Jess’s post…  This was mile 10 – halfway there!

Throughout the run I fueled with strawberry shot bloks (no caffeine) and tri berry Gu’s (with caffeine) and we refilled our handheld water bottles throughout.  We both felt pretty hungry after mile 15 and I’m not really sure how to solve that.  Should we have something real to eat?  I’ve heard of people eating granola bars – maybe that’s a good idea? Although with no more long runs to test the theory it makes me nervous that my tummy would reject the idea.

Overall I think the 20 miler went well.  I didn’t feel nervous for it and was really excited to be running it with Jess.  I’ve been doing all of my runs solo and having Jess there was so helpful.  We’re not really sure how long it took us because Jess forgot to re-start her watch at one point so we paused mine for a little bit to let her watch catch up.

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It was hard.  Really hard after mile 18.  The last mile was pretty awful to be honest.  I’m sort of glad it was hard though.  It gave me an idea of what to be prepared for on race day.  This is going to be hard.  Both physically and mentally.  And I know that I’m probably going to cry and I know that I’m going to feel the most incredible sense of victory and accomplishment.

After the 20 I felt rough on Saturday and then Sunday I was sore but pretty much okay.  I took an Epsom salt bath on Sunday night.  Monday was a much needed rest day and I was up before dawn on Tuesday to run in the snow.  When I checked the weather it was supposed to start snowing at 7am.  Nope – when I got out there just before 6am it was already falling.  Pretty hard actually and blowing in my face.  But after mile 2 it was just peaceful and amazing.  It was a really lovely run and I’m really glad I went.

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8 miles on Wednesday morning which wasn’t fun.  My legs weren’t into the idea and it was just not very fun.  Then this morning we had a snow day here in Charlotte and I got to run 4 on the treadmill.  Yuck.  I hate treadmill runs.  I spend the entire time wanting to jump off.  It’s such a battle for me.  And now we’re 15 days away from 26.2.

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Anyone have any idea for eating during a long run?  What works and what doesn’t?

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Christina Hagan

One Comment

  1. at this point, i really think you gotta stick with what’s been working for you. i can no longer handle shot bloks for long runs (like more than 10) and so last summer i started experimenting with real food. i now eat apple slices on long runs and it works great. but i wouldn’t recommend doing anything you haven’t tested!

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