20 Mile Run: Feeling Cool, Comfortable, Complacent then Consumed!!!

30 Dec

Hi again, friendos!


How are you all doing? I’m hanging out on my couch watching a romcom at the moment. I really, really, wanted to go for a quick 5 mile run tonight but instead I decided it was necessary to take a day off considering I ran 20 miles yesterday. I didn’t want to take a break but I know I should…(I hate breaks)  If you know me you know it’s hard for me to sit still so this particular Sunday is killing me! Killing me! Instead of just sitting around I decided to bake, cook and relax my muscles in a nice hot soak-not in that order.


The soak was good. I enjoyed the lavender scented Epson salt bath crystals. But I’m not one to relish in these moments. It bores me. Baths bore me because they take far too long. By the time the water gets to the level necessary to be completely submerged into it, I am too hot and inpatient and want out. I forced myself to stay submerged at the highest water level the tub would allow for for about 5 minutes. That was enough. I stepped out as fast as I could as if it were a death trap suffocating me. It was, the bath was suffocating me. I hate baths. Baths aren’t relaxing to me. It’s like unnecessary torture. I even tried to romanticize it a bit and make it more glamorous, more lustful. I added a scented candle, a glass of red wine and my journal. It didn’t work. Screw the journal. I kept sipping the wine in hopes it would alter my mood towards the bath. Nope. I told myself when the wine was done the bath was done. I drank fast.


There I was a glass of Malbec deep.  I was bored out of my mind in that bath.  I recognize the bath was necessary for my muscles but it was unnecessary for my mind.


I realized in my bath that I needed to confess a little about my run. So here I am ready confess. Confess that yes, yes I ran 20.1 miles. But no, no I did not enjoy the full 20.1 miles.  I didn’t!!! That shit was SO HARD! By the 16th mile I was uncomfortable. Not uncomfortable because my calves were burning or tight but uncomfortable because I realized after two hours of running I still had about 30-40 minutes left of running. I was tired and entirely consumed!!!! I didn’t know if I had any more in me. I remember thinking, what the heck did I sign up for and was I capable of really running a marathon? I don’t think so!?  Really? 


When I hit 8 miles I was cool, comfortable and complacent. When I hit the next 8 I thought, “Shit!, I’ve got 4 more until my goal of 20 miles, this kind of hurts but it’s manageable…” Then I realized there were 10 more miles to complete a marathon. Oh my gosh! I remember asking myself if I even had 10 more miles in me. What the hell did I sign up for? Holy shit, what if I can’t do it? I can’t fail! I can’t fail! I have to do it!


I was scared. I am scared. A marathon suddenly seemed and still seems daunting. It should have always felt daunting but it didn’t, it didn’t until yesterday! Shit!!!!


I Realized I Needed To Evaluate My Hydration, My Attitude And My Plan!


My Hydration


I never really prep for a run the way others do. I don’t ensure I’m properly hydrated. If I worked all day I’m fueled on early grey tea with honey, coffee with minimal creamer, maybe some water, but most definitely some green juice…The weekends, well the weekends most often mean I am well rested and hydrated; hydrated with water, coffee or too much chardonnay. What’s new?!


My Attitude


Yesterday I didn’t feel like myself. I dreaded my run. I didn’t want to go for a run. The only reason I contemplated the run was because I ate too many goodies over the holidays and I wanted to make certain the food didn’t find my waistline as I felt it had (totally mental)… I sucked it up, put my gear on and ventured downstairs determined to run off my grandmother’s pizzelle and cannolis (I can’t say no to those dang things!).


I recall talking to my husband when I was walking to my gym telling him something was amiss with me. He asked me what was wrong and I told him point-blank, I didn’t want to run. He exclaimed, “Wow! Yeah, something is wrong with you! You not wanting to run? Ha. Do you have a fever?  Val, you need to suck it up because these are the days where you end up loving the run.” He followed that with, “Geez Val, you blog about this very thing…The days you don’t want to run end up being  your best running days! You will make this a good run! It might be your best run!”  I cringed for a second because he was a bit too upbeat for my low-energy outlook. Then I realized he was right and he was my number one fan! He knew I had it in me to not only burn off the pizzelle and cannolis but to run my best!


After we hung up I was determined to make this run my best run yet, I was going to make it my bitch (pardon the language)! But I wondered how do I gauge my best run?  What is my best? What was my best run? I don’t know. Are we talking time or distance, or both? I decided instead of going for speed I would go for distance. And distance I did. My farthest run prior to yesterday was just shy of 18 miles so I set the goal for 20 miles. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But I dared myself to complete it regardless of how long it was going to take me. (2 hours, 30 minutes and 53 seconds!)


I set out. One foot in front of the other and I ran. It felt liberating. I pounded my lethargic mood out of me.  I suddenly found myself wanting to run. I wanted to run for more reasons than to burn off the pizzelle and cannolis. I wanted to run to prove to myself that I could run 20 miles. And then I had dreams of drinking 2 beers after the run in an obligatory celebration! Mmm Beer!!!  (I had one Yuengling Black and Tan and one Third Shift Amber Lager)


My Diet!


This was my first run where I decided to eat gels.


After 60 minutes of running I went for an energy gel. Let me tell you how much I disliked the PowerGel Performance Energy in Raspberry flavor!!! EWWWWW! It was disgusting! I took one swig and wanted to gag. I felt like it was 100 times worse than cold syrup, no joke. I wanted to vomit! It tasted like sugary cold syrup well over its expiration date. It was far too crystallized and gross. Just gross. I switched to the Gatorade Prime Energy Chews in Cool Blue. I ate three of them though the serving size called for six. I drank about 8 oz of water after and went on forward. I felt reenergized and on top of the world. I ran another 8 miles, ate another 3 chews and washed the chews down with another 8 oz of water. I felt great. My stomach was happy, satiated and giving me no trouble, considering this is the first time I ever ate anything on a run. Thank gosh!


I realized at the end of my run how imperative these energy chews were to my performance. I found that the Gatorade Prime Energy Chews in Cool Blue work for me and that I must purchase them in bulk! I will never ingest another PowerGel Performance Energy again, even if they were free. I couldn’t stomach it and I won’t suffer that foul taste again. Ugh.


Good Music, a Good Diet, and Suffering


I’m here to tell you that yes I ran 20 miles. Yes, 20 miles sucked. But because of my good music, my diet, and my willingness to suffer through the pain, I managed to make 20 miles my bitch!


I previously posted about my playlist. Let me now post about my diet.


My Diet Pre-Run and Run For My 20 Miler:




1 tablespoon of cold chia seeds (after 1 tablespoon of dry chia seeds were soaked with 2 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon honey)


2 cups of coffee with a little sugar-free creamer. No sugar.


1 cup of green grapes


2 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s chunky natural peanut butter


One hour later I went for a run…




8 miles without water.


Then 8 oz of water


3 oz of Green Machine Naked Juice


3 Gatordate Chews




8 miles without water


Then 8 oz of water


3 Gatorade Chews




1 Yuengling Black and Tan


1 Third Shift Amber Lager


There I was having my beer. Savoring in the fact that I did it, I ran my goal of 20 miles!!! And here I am confessing to you it wasn’t easy. It was hard. It was hard but it was worth it. I remind myself and I remind you that when it gets hard, push on through the pain. Pain is temporary!!! 


Quote Of The Day

You & Me, We Are Distance Runners. We’ve Been Trained to Keep Going Even When It’s Hard (Gawd Is It Hard).

When It Hurts, When It Sucks, When We Don’t Want TO.

We Look Past It.

Relentless Forward Progress To The Finish.

Call It What You Want:

Stubbornness, Endurance, Determination, Guts.

Deep Down

We Don’t Know How To Give Up.

And It’s Always Worth It In The End!!!


Love the run! Image





aka Runnergirl


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