Sunday, March 3, 2013 - I ran my first 20 miler. Mark it down...
I didn't know what to expect, but I was expecting that endorphin rush, cloud nine sort of experience that keeps a guy heading back outside in the cold of late winter in NW Ohio.
Here are a few things I did know. First, I knew that it would be very mentally challenging to do the bulk of this run by myself on a point to point run on the single-lane country roads that weave through frozen corn fields. One's mind does cover a lot of ground in 3 hours' time. I was fortunate enough to connect with a fellow runner with about 4.5 miles left who gave me the mental boost and pace pick-me-up that pushed out a nice time 3 full minutes under my time goal for the run.
Second, I knew I had nothing to worry about gear/nutrition wise. I sported a pair of Saucony Virratas (reviewed here), a Camelbak Delaney belt (didn't wear the bottles on the back of the belt), and my CEP calf sleeves. My trust Garmin 110 would keep me on task too. I had about 6oz of homemade Gatorade, a gel, and a recovery drink to drink while waiting to be picked up by the rest of my family.
Third, I knew that the last hunk of the run would be the most challenging, and I also knew that those would be the miles that my body would be forced to accept. My body responded well, it did what I asked it to, and that was great.
That endorphin rush? Nope - never came. I guess the good thing is that I know what my body will feel like post-marathon. It will hurt :)
I hurt in spots I have never felt post-run soreness before. My shoulders hurt, my triceps hurt and my deltoids were on fire too - it was nuts. I have to say that it was due in large part to the fact that the last handful of miles were all arms and legs. I got cold - chilled to the bone - once I stopped.
I did learn something though.
I learned I could do it, and I learned what it would take to meet my goals. Frankly, I was hoping that the lesson would be more fun.
Truth is that the lessons that teach us the most, generally aren't the most fun.