My First 20-Miler

20 Nov

First 20-Miler

Yesterday I did something that I never thought possible: I ran 20 miles.

I just looked up the distance from my house in downtown Orlando to my mom’s house in Lake Mary and it’s 18 miles. The fact that I could’ve run home to visit my mom is absolutely insane to me. And yet I more than covered that distance yesterday.

My morning started up early Saturday with a 3:25 AM wake-up time. As I rolled out of bed, I couldn’t help but think that there were people probably just finishing their Friday nights. I rolled my legs with my BFF foam roller and got dressed while Donnie went out to the living room. Since we had fallen asleep at 9 PM the night before, he was wide awake.

When I walked out to the kitchen, I stared in the pantry and asked him “What do you think I should have for breakfast?” “Life,” he said. (If anyone watches The Soup like we religiously do, they you’ll get the reference to a bad scene from a soap opera where the dumb hunk says “It’s not what’s for breakfast any more. It’s what’s for life.”) Since life was too much for me to handle at that hour, I settled for some wheat bread with my new favorite peanut butter: Peanut Butter & Co Dark Chocolate Dreams.

My new favorite peanut butter. Don't mind the smudge... I was just snacking on some. πŸ˜‰

I left Donnie on the couch watching the movie Heat and drove to the spot where I was meeting the rest of my group. My friend, Christina, is training for the Walt Disney Marathon too and this was going to be her first time running 20 miles too. We started our run both excited and nervous. I reminded myself to take it one mile at a time.

Surprisingly, our first 10 miles went by pretty fast. I didn’t even check my distance until we were about six miles in and that’s because someone asked me to. I remember at one point asking my group to not ask me how far we’d run because I didn’t want to know. Don’t worry, this ignorance-is-bliss thing changed around mile 16. πŸ˜‰

Our first 10-mile loop took us back to our meeting spot, so I took the opportunity to use the bathroom real quick and run over to my car and reapply glide under my sports bra. After a short break, we were on the road again. This time there were only three of us: Christina, Emily and me.

I need to mention that since the majority of our group has already run their fall marathons, our support for this long run was scarce. Our awesome group leaders, Sue and Emily, wanted to make sure that us noobs had support, so they developed a plan. Sue was experiencing some ankle problems and is running the Space Coast Marathon next weekend, so she decided to drive her car along the route and make sure we were okay. Emily, who’s also running the Space Coast Marathon, was on a taper, so she ran every other 2 to 3 miles with us, and rode with Sue the rest of the time.

The best parts about this plan:

  • This resulted in making Sue that creepy lady sitting in parking lots by herself. She got quite a few dirty looks from other runners, parents, etc. Awesome.
  • Emily’s little breaks gave her extra energy for the portions she did run with us. We fed off that energy.
  • It made us laugh every time they would ride along our side and yell encouragement as they sipped on their Starbucks Gingerbread lattes.
  • When it was dark, the car lights lit the rode ahead of us.
  • I was reassured knowing that if something happened to either of us, help was nearby.

What they both did for us was pretty awesome. They both went above and beyond and I can’t thank them enough.

Somewhere in the midst of our second 10-mile leg, Sue leaned out her window and told us that at the next stop we would be getting Atomic Energy Bites. This seemed to put a little pep in Christina’s step since she’d had some before. I, on the other hand, had only heard of this energy chew so I lacked her enthusiasm. I told Sue that it seemed like she was dangling a carrot in front of us. She said she was.

They don’t seem to have a website, so I still question the legality of Atomic Energy Bites and whether they are in fact FDA approved. But let me tell you, these things WORK. Within minutes I had a newfound pep in my step.

Here’s a pic of us right either right before or right after we took the Atomic Energy Bites:

Feeling strong around mile 17

If you ask me, we looked pretty strong regardless. πŸ™‚

We then started to play the name game in order to distract us. This did the job for a couple of miles. But then we got bored and moved to the Food Game after Sue suggested it from her car.

She explained the rules of the Food Game: For your first mile, try to name as many food items that start with the letter A. For the second mile, do the same with the letter B and so on and so forth. We decided to break it down into 5-minute increments instead. I don’t think she intended for this to be such a funny game, but that’s what it became. I’m pretty sure delirium (and Atomic Energy Bites) had settled in at the point. Let’s just say that for the letter D, the first food I could come up with was “dead animal” and then I almost peed my pants laughing. I also insisted that “anaconda” was a food that people ate (people eat snake, right?).

At this point we were laughing uncontrollably. At one point we got to an intersection and realized we didn’t know which way to turn. We turned back to look at Sue’s car and then laughed so hard that it took approximately 20 seconds for me to spit out my question, “Which way do we go??” Sue took this opportunity to capture video. I swear, I look drunk in the video.

At mile 18 Emily joined us for the final two miles of our run. By this point my IT in my left leg was hurting me and the laughter had wore off. It was a quiet two miles where I started checking our distance every few seconds while Emily shouted the occasional encouragement.

Finally, my watch hit mile 20 and I yelled “stop!” and we started walking. And then the neighborhood tyrant rode his bicycle by us and cursed us out. I’m told he has Tourette Syndrome, but I think he must have something else too, because I didn’t think Tourette made you flick people off too. I pretended he was the crowd at the finish line, and instead of yelling “You stupid motherf#%@” he was yelling “Awesome job!”

Afterwards I went home and sat in my car for a few minutes while I contemplated how I would get out of the car. Donnie poked his head out of the front door and sent Rex, one of my two pugs, out to get me. I managed to get out and pet Rex and shuffle into my house, where I took an ice bath, a nice long, hot shower, and remained on the couch for the rest of the day.

Have you ever tried Atomic Energy Bites? Or do you have another other energy chews you use on your long runs?


3 Responses to “My First 20-Miler”

  1. Jen November 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    That is insane. Feel free to run over for a visit anytime.

    • Hemarie November 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

      Should I just run 17-92 the entire way there? I heard it’s a scenic route…


  1. Post-Turkey Run « I Sweat Pretty - November 26, 2011

    […] we were scheduled to run 20 miles today, but we swapped out our weeks and ran the 20-miler last week. I’d like to thank my group leaders for this suggestion, because running that 20 miles this […]

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