Staring Down Twenty.

20 Mile Sign FinalI’ve run 20 (or more) miles four times in my life.

This is on my mind b/c tomorrow I’m up for my first 20 mile run since the marathon. (I know, right?) It’s been almost 3 full months, to the day, since I’ve asked my body to perform heroic acts and put up a number that starts with a 2. Yes…a 2. And to be honest, anything in the twos is the big leagues to me. So I’m kind-of overwhelmed, a little freakin’ scared and a bit like, “Oh f*. Seriously?”

Yesterday I read through a few old blog posts, specifically the ones following each 20+ mile throw down. Here’s a quick peek at how they all shook out:

20 Miler No. 1 —  (Which you NEVER forget), almost wrecked me. I left everything out on the trail that day — my legs. Some tread. A few tears. My heart. My bloody hip bones. Some skin. My soul. (Everything in my “git-er-done” tool box.) The only thing I brought back was my pride…and that was the day I learned, PRIDE is ENOUGH.

20 Miler No. 2 — I was up for 14 miles that morning, so I ran out 7 and back. I then looked at Andi and said, “I’ve got to keep going.” So we went out one and back. (Now we’re at 16.) Then finally, out two and back. (To hit 20.) That day I learned to GET while the GETTIN’ is GOOD.

20 Miler No. 3 — Was actually 22 miles, and the weather was on the fast-track to hot as sh*t. I ended up half-neked in front of 179 bird watchers as I swapped shirts (in public). At mile 20, it dawned on me that if it were race day, I’d still have 6.2 miles to go. (For the love of all things holy, that’s almost another half of a half marathon.) Not only that, but my body was like, “Yeah…um. So glad we did this today. I did my part. I’m freakin’ OUT OF HERE.” My lesson? No matter how hard you train, it’s your heart (and sheer grit) that will carry you home.

20 Miler No. 4 — Was the marathon. At mile 22 (of 26.2), I came to a mental fork in the road. Either I could start crying my a** off and flail around on the ground, (which I desperately wanted to do), or I could get p*ssed and let anger propel me to the finish line. I can’t say I consciously chose anger, but it’s what showed up…and worked. On race day my lesson was: Yep, I got this done…and in a respectable amount of time. But I should have been stronger.

Listen. I know there are runners in the world who throw on their shorts, lace up their treads, bang out a mean 20 miles and then get on with their day. I’m NOT that girl. I have to earn my time in the big leagues. As I chew on tomorrow’s run, it’s hard to believe the outcome is worth it.  But somehow, (and miraculously), it always is.

So today, I’m on the straight and narrow: I’m eating clean and skipping the ice cream. (Damn it.) I’ll be in bed by 9 pm…and up before the rooster even knows he’s supposed to crow. My intention is to slide in somewhere under 3:30. And somehow, put 20-Miler No. 5 to bed with ease, grace and just a bit of BK swagger.

ONWARD!

Brook

P.S. What are your weekend plans? Are you racing? Laying down a big boy? Come on over and share so we can cheer for YOU! https://www.facebook.com/BrooksFirstMarathon

P.P.S. Hey…want to spend a VIP day with me in Denver? We’ll go for a run, chat up my trainer, hit my favorite running store…the works. All you have to do is log your movement in my 90 Day No Excuses Challenge and you’re entered to win. It’s super easy and FREE to play…click here to get started!

P.P.S.S. I finally figured out how to mask my bruised and black toenail. I am a genius. lol. (Just kidding on the genius part, but it worked!) 

 toenails

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3 Responses to Staring Down Twenty.

  1. andi August 16, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    what?! you a) got a pedicure without me?
    and b) got color?!

    you’ve got 20 tomorrow. you have donna and a thousand others cheering you on. get it, friend!

    • Brook August 16, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

      Hey! I snagged a pedi in Sedona for $25…it was too far for you to travel! And color…I know! I could hardly make myself do it, but the stares at my toenail became too much. Thanks Andi…I know this one will be one of my best yet. (And thanks for your support.) ONWARD girlfriend!

  2. Noelle August 17, 2013 at 3:20 am #

    Hey Brook you kick ass! The thing about your blog is that you keep it real and don’t pretend it’s easy. One of the challenges I struggle with is that so many runners out there make it seem so easy and that makes running seem even harder than it already feels. I’m def not a runner yet cause I don’t feel the need but reading your post makes me want to get out there and push it.

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