When working towards a goal, there are good days, and there are bad days. A�Last Saturday, I completed my 20 mile training run as part of the training that I am doing for an upcoming marathon. A�This was the 5th time in my life that I have run that far so I wasna�?t too intimidated.A� Besides–my 18 mile training run had gone fantastic the week before. A�The weather was flawless, I felt great, nothing hurt, and when I finished I still had energy to continue to run if I really wanted to. The 20 mile run was the complete opposite. A�Many marathoners agree that you always need a�?at least onea�? really disastrous long training run to make it successfully through race day. A�Well, if that superstition is true, my race day should be heavenly. A�Here is a breakdown of my disastrous 20 mile training run, and how I powered through:
Miles 1-4: My teammate and I got there earlier than the rest of our team because of the high chance for early afternoon storms. A� We wanted to get a good 4 miles in before our official training time started. A�It was still dark out. A�It was chilly and windy. A�My body felt like it just wasna��t waking up. A�Everything in my body hurt, and I felt sluggish and slow. I was hydrated, slept well, and ate a good breakfast, but something was just off from the beginning. A�It typically takes me 3-5 miles to warm up, and feel the adrenaline, so I chalked it up to a typical slow start. A�Something about mile 3 made me think that the run would get better. A�Maybe it was because the sun was coming up and the pink, and orange reflection on the lake was blindingly beautiful.
Miles 5-7: I was grateful my marathon training buddy had things to talk about to distract me, because I was too busy focusing on negative things. A�Muscles were bothering me, and the sun was too hot, and too bright. A�The path was overcrowded with several other charity endurance training teams also doing their 20 mile runs. A�It felt like every 10 seconds another running group was flying past us by the hundreds, pushing us off the path, and barreling through. A�I was so crabby, that I think I actually yelled a�?HEY! This path is for EVERYONE, A-HOLES!a�?
Miles 8-10: I was already over it. A�I couldna��t believe that I was barely halfway finished. A�a�?What the heck went wrong today? A�At this point during the 18 miler, I was high fiving strangers, laughing out loud, and telling funny passenger stories to my teammate. A�Today, I feel like ita��s my first time running this far, ever.
Miles 11-14: We passed a Water and Gatorade Station organized by our team volunteers. Even though I was in rough shape, seeing them perked my spirits up as they rang cowbells and cheered. A�I laughed about my muscles as they screamed in pain, and how ridiculous all of this was. A�I told my teammate that I was not going to quit, even if I had to walk the rest of the way.
Miles 15-17: A�I saw a dog walking with its owner. A�The dog had two disabled back legs and was attached to a doggie wheelchair. A�A squirrel came down a tree, and I saw that wheelchair sprint into action. A�That dog chased that squirrel as fast as any other normal dog. A�I laughed. For some reason the moment inspired me. A�I asked my teammate how many miles we had to go according to her GPS watch. A�She said a�?Just about 3 miles.” A�I turned on my iPod for the first time that day, looked at her, and said a�?Alright!–Ita��s battle time b*atch!a�? A�She laughed, knowing I found some deep down confidence that I would push through. A�A runner ahead of us turned around, also laughing, and said a�?OOO! I LIKE IT! YEEee-AAAH!!a�?
Miles 18-20: The pain was pretty awful. A�I was definitely feeling overheated, and like this training run would never end. A�My teammate stuck by my side, even when I started doing walk/run intervals. A�I looked at her, and said that I was hurting. A�I promised her (and myself) I wasna��t going to cry. A�Saying it out loud made me want to cry more. A�When we got just a half mile away from the finish, I told her to go ahead. A�I knew that she just wanted to power through and finish, and I was slowing her down. A�I put on my music, and ran slowly to the beat. A�I passed a little girls’ A�soccer league game, and got distracted. A�I turned to look up ahead and saw a woman, around my age, running towards me with a prosthetic leg. A�Her face was full of such determination. A�The way she swooped her hip out to bring her prosthetic around to match her other legs pace was memorizing. A�I yelled a�?20 today?a�? she yelled back a�?Yep. 3 more to go!a�? A�Again, I was inspired. A�I powered through to the finish and there was my team, ringing cowbells and screaming a�?Go Team!” A�A few of my teammates said, a�?There she is! A�How was it?a�? and I answered back a�?Awful. A�Horrible. A�Worst run ever. A�Seriously, that run was complete crap.
BUT I FINISHED.
Now someone, quick! Get me a pizza.”
Bio- Jacqueline Petzel is a flight attendant for a major airline, and theflightattendantlife.com‘s Fitness Editor. A�She is currently training for another marathon to help benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. A�If you would like to contact her with questions about marathon training, fitness, or have suggestions for her Fitness Friday posts, please contactA�her on Facebook and Instagram as @FitFlyGal.