Sunday, March 27, 2011

No Surrender!

Twenty Miles.

That's a long way. Mentally and physically. All week I was trying to mentally and physically prepare myself for this run. The formula for this is: gallons of water, tortellini, banana pancakes, hot pink compression socks and a thousand self pep talks. 

I think it worked.

The weather turned much colder for the weekend. Between 8 a.m and noon on Saturday the temp was supposed to feel like 18 - 27 degrees. That's quite a big difference too when it comes to running. I would dress much differently for a run in 18 degrees than I would for a run in 27 degrees. So the stressing about what to wear began Friday afternoon. We were also greeted with windy conditions Saturday morning - 10 to 20 mph winds. Awesome! My usual pack of running buddies were not at this training run and the half marathoners were doing a different route - we usually are together for at least the beginning. Thankfully Amy was there. We have run together a few times and I am extremely grateful she was there.

We did something a little different in the morning. Paul (Mr. Mojo) gave us a mantra to help us through this run. He held up a white flag and told us our mantra this week is "no surrender". He then placed the flag in the doorway and asked each of us to stomp on it as we left the store for our run, and again on our way back in after we conquered the 20 miles. It was a little cheesy, but I liked it. It gave us a sense of being a team, it reminded me of high school cross country and our "Kill the Hill" shirts and all those silly things we did to get us pumped up for a big race, meet or game.

I actually kind of forgot about the mantra until the last 2.5 miles. Amy and I had taken a wrong turn, so at one point we were going the opposite direction of our fellow runners. They all kind of looked at us funny and we just waved. We had to add on a little bit to make sure we hit 20 and on our way back in I said "we can do anything for 2.5 miles",  Amy very quickly added "except complain! No surrender!". We each had a great run, no complaining and no surrendering.  It was the farthest Amy had ever run which is always a great accomplishment. We ended at 20.5 miles which I thought was pretty good since we had to improvise our route.

The biggest hill on the route came with an exhausting headwind - at about 9 or so miles in. That was the toughest part and also our quietest part. The great thing about running 20 miles with someone you don't know very well is that you can talk forever because you have so much to learn about the person. I felt way better at the end than I did after our 18 miler a few weeks ago. 

It felt so good to walk back through that door and stomp on that white flag.

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