Last Thursday, I was scheduled to head out with my friends for a 20 mile run. When we woke up, it was a balmy 8 degrees, so we decided to meet a little later than we usually do just to give it a chance to warm up outside. We decided to meet at 10:30. It did warm up some by the time we met, at 21 degrees and a bit of a breeze.
So, where we do our long runs now is at a park that has a 5 mile loop. That means 4 times around for the 20. UGH! Our first 2 times around were really good. I felt great! Our mission was to go slow on this training run and just make it as our longest run prior was 17 miles. We were following our plan nicely. Each time around, we stopped at the car and filled up our water bottles and grabbed a snack if we needed one. After the second lap, Linda was hurting with her foot and sciatica. Both Marilyn and I told her not too push it. So she left at about mile 12. Marilyn has run 4 other marathons and is pretty fast. Much, much faster than me. But she stayed with me, which was so nice! :)
At mile 15 or so, I stopped to use the restroom and told her I needed to slow down a bit. I knew she had time constraints and told her I was ok, she could go. I'm not a quitter. I would make it no matter what. She left about mile 15.5. What does that mean? I was on my own. Yep...the last 4.5 on my own.
So, I dug deep. Turned my music up, grabbed some animal crackers and headed off. At about mile 17.5, I really hit a wall. I was sore, tired, hungry, but I knew I couldn't quit. I told myself, "You got this! Only 2.5 left! Don't stop!" Gave myself permission to do whatever I needed to make it. I think I stayed pretty strong. When that watch hit 20 miles, I was beside myself. I couldn't believe it! I got into my car and cried. I did it! I made 20 miles. It took me a long time, I know. 3 hours and 55 minutes, but I don't care. It wasn't about the time. It was about the distance. It was about accomplishing something I NEVER thought I could. EVER. It was about finding the strength hidden inside of me. It was about reaching for your goals, making your kids proud, being a superstar in their eyes for a few minutes! I DID IT!
That run convinced me to change my half marathon registration to the full and so I did. No turning back now. On 5/5/13, I WILL be completing a marathon!