Sunday, August 12, 2012

Thank you for 20 miles, Mom!

I get nervous before every long run. Not nervous, like butterflies in my stomach, but nervous that I'm going to get injured, or nervous that I won't have the mental strength to finish my run.  Yesterday, I had 20 miles on the schedule, for the first time ever.  When I run in Central Park I know where each mile is, I know how to pace myself and I know where the hills are.  I was in upstate NY visiting family all week, far away from NYC, with my longest run ever on the schedule.  This made me even more nervous than usual.  Not to mention that it would be the first long run I've done alone since my horrible 14 mile run a few weeks ago.  My mom lives 6 miles from the "big town" so I planned to run there and back, and knew I'd have to tack on some miles to the beginning and end of my run to get it to 20.

My mom is the cutest.  When I told her I was going to run 20 miles there, she asked if she could follow along in the car.  Since that MIGHT hold up traffic, I told her no.  However, knowing my mom, I knew that she'd still appear on my run.  I told her my route since I wasn't taking my cell phone and set out for a 3 hour jaunt.  About 4 miles in, I saw her car pass by me slowly.  She was waving and smiling and I was happy to see her! I had my own personal cheerleader and my own photographer for the day!

I promise I wasn't picking my nose!  Annd glad to know what it looks like 
when I have a bunch of Honey Stingers in my back pocket...

My mom appeared a few more times between miles 6-14. It became like a game to see if I could guess when/where she'd appear!  Then finally, she'd drive by me slowly and wave, probably took some more pictures, and I'd smile, say hi and keep trucking (instead of getting in her car and having her take me home, which I did think about a few times!) I ran up mountain hill after mountain hill and down little dips.  It definitely felt like I was running up way more than down! Central Park has NOTHING on upstate NY!

Around mile 15, I started to crash mentally.  It was hot and humid and there was no shade to be found. I told myself just to get to mile 16.  Then once I did that, just make it to 17, then 18. I actually even told myself I could stop completely when I got to 18 if I wanted.  I was that desperate.

When I got just past 17, I saw another huge hill looming in the distance. I wanted to cry. I told myself just to get to the top of that hill then I could take a break. Then I saw my mom. She was standing outside her car with a spray bottle! AMAZING! She sprayed me until I was almost completely soaked! After that, getting to the top of that hill didn't seem so bad! I made it over the hill and down the other side, but think I had already completely dried off, and was so tired mentally. Then there was my mom again, ready with the spray bottle in hand! After she doused me again, I took off (okay, slowly ran off at this point) for miles 19 and 20. I hadn't planned this part of my run out, and since I was only a half mile or so from home, it made it so mentally hard to keep running instead of going home. I didn't even care about getting to 20 miles at this point. But with only one mile to go, I saw my mom again, and she sprayed me yet again! My last mile was my slowest (except for the first mile when my GPS couldn't find signal), and by far the hardest mile I've run in a long time.  I may have thrown out a few swear words along the way for all the neighbors to hear....

BUT!...I made it to 20!  I definitely can't say that I did this all on my own.  If it wasn't for my mom, I can almost guarantee that I would have stopped and walked after mile 18. So, THANK YOU for getting me to 20, mom!!!

Here are my splits in case you want to see how much I crashed at the end!

Now that this run is over (and I don't have to run hills for 14 miles again), I'm happy with how it went.  I was REALLY skeptical going into it, didn't sleep well the night before, and really wasn't sure that I had the mental capacity to make it to 20.  It's by far the longest run I've done on my own, and was actually quite pleasant until mile 15!  I'm hoping that Philly will seem really easy after this- flat, crowds, other runners, and my mom, boyfriend, dad, sister and brother-in-law will all be my personal cheerleaders and photographers!

Crazy observation from this run- I only saw 1 other runner the entire time I was out there! SO unlike NYC!

How's your training going?  How do you keep yourself from breaking down mentally during long runs?  PLEASE TELL ME YOUR SECRETS!!!


  1. WOW! You're awesome, you're running like a seasoned marathoner!!! Now that you have 20 out of the way, ANNIHILATE the rest of your runs knowing you have it in you!

    1. Thank you!....I hope you're right! It's hard to imagine running 6.2 more miles after 20 though! :)

      Hope your training is going well!

  2. That is so adorable! Your mom is great :)

  3. Your mom is awesome! I break down the run into pieces in my mind so it doesn't seem that far. For the marathon, I do half marathon, 3.1 miles then I start counting down the miles when I get to the single digits. It is better to think I only have 6 to go than to think I have run 20 miles (I am so tired).

    1. Good idea! I'll have to try that on my next long run. When I got to 6.9 miles on this run, I thought "ooh, I only have a half marathon left!"....but when I got to 16, I couldn't imagine running another 4 miles! Will have to work on the mind games with myself :)