One of the fun things about marathon training is almost every long run is "the farthest I've ever run." I remind myself of this by looking at my Garmin during the run and thinking "phew, this is the farthest I've ever run." I guess I say that because there is certainly a sense of accomplishment in that. There is also a lot less pressure in the situation. I did my first ever 20 mile run this past weekend (I had only done 16 prior), and all I wanted was to finish. As long as the run was, and as intimidating as the distance sounded, there was and is something really freeing in not being concerned about my time or my pace.
Since I started really running in the past year or two, it was no longer a victory to finish a 5k, or get through 4 or 5 miles; I felt a lot more pressure to improve. Why wasn't I faster? Why weren't these short distances easier? Finishing 20 miles Saturday made me feel like a warrior. A hobbling, shuffling warrior, but still a warrior. Now I kind of feel like Rocky when people ask me "What did you do this weekend?" and I can say "Oh, you know, ran 20 miles." Which reminds me that I need to take the day after my marathon off. Somehow, I don't think I'll be very good at walking that day.
The thing that I really felt and was interested in was that towards the end of my run, the last 3-5 miles, I went somewhere in my head I have never quite been. Normally, I'll want to walk when I get really tired. This time, I just became relentless in my commitment to shuffle-jog along, not stopping, staring fixedly in front of me and at that point probably looking slightly deranged.
In other news, I got through part 1 of my move on Sunday, will finish part 2 tomorrow and part 3 on February 1. Can't wait to get everything taken care of! Hope everyone is having a great week!