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The “Royal” 20

on April 30, 2011

Well…this week called for my longest run EVER in my life.  20 miler.  I was excited and nervous at the same time.

My first plan was to get up and run on the trail.  I was planning on starting about 6am and knew it would take me around 4 hours to complete the 20 and I also knew where the 10 mile turn-around point would be.  BUT, the weather was threatning.  The forecast was for thunderstorms.  I did NOT want to get caught way out in the middle of the trail if it started lightning.  My second plan was my usual…get up super early and get it done on the treadmill.  I had to make the decision Friday night and stick with it.   My decision was to get it done on the treadmill and not take the chance of getting caught in possible lightning.

So my alarm went off at 2:45 and I was actually not very tired.  I had all my “stuff” set out so I just got up, got dressed, and headed out.  Right from the first step, I knew it was going to be onle of those runs….tough.  Even after I was warmed up, it didn’t feel good, I felt tight, I felt like I couldn’t really get into a rhythm.  All that was on TV was coverage of the Royal Wedding of William and Kate.  Since I did not get up early on Friday to watch it live, I was able to see everything during this run.   I actually loved watching it and it helped take my mind off of how difficult this run started.  There were only two problems….there were a ton of commercials and once the commercials came on, I immediately could not focus and that made it more difficult to keep going, and 2, the coverage ended at 5am.  I still had 2 hours left and NOTHING was on TV that kept my mind occupied like the wedding did!

I then turned to my music and turned on my MP3 player.  Ahhhhh…..this was the ticket.  Something about the music drumming in my ears really geared me up.  I was able to go faster and work harder on the second half of the run.  It got difficult again around mile 17 and then again around 18.5, but by then, I could mentally push myself through.  When I got to mile 17 and it felt really hard, I pretended that it was mile 24.  I have always read about visualizing your race and that’s what I did.  I tried to visualize that I was surrounded by other runners and that soon, the finish line would be near.  I tried to imagine how I would feel at the finish line of 26.2 miles.  After I got through the tough part around 18.5, the last mile went really well and I was so happy and proud of myself when I saw 20.0 come up on the treadmill.  My thighs were so tired, my feet help up well, my breathing was good….it was just my thighs. 

As I was stretching, I thought about how the entire run went and I think it went well, considering how difficult the start was.  If it hadn’t been for the Royal Wedding coverage, I don’t know how I would have stuck it out for the first 2 hours.  Even though the commercials were difficult to get through,  the fact that I was looking forward to the next segment of the wedding kept pushing through the commercials…and they were the SAME commercials everytime! 

I got home, took out Max, started the coffee pot, drank my chocolate milk, and headed in for the ice bath.  I had again stockpiled ice all week, in fact MORE ice than last week.  I sat in the ice and could harldy breathe.  I cannot even describe how painful it was to sit in the tub of cold water and ice.  But as soon as I got out, my legs felt so good.  I got back in my pjs and slept for a couple of hours.  When I got out of bed, my legs felt great and I hope that continues.   I’m sure it will and although horribly painful, the ice bath is a saviour and on these long runs, I will always end with an ice bath.

I’m sure that at some point, Prince William and Princess Kate will read this blog entry and I want to thank them for getting married the day before my 20 miler.  The coverage of their wedding pushed me through the most difficult part of my run.  If I didn’t have their wedding to watch, I don’t know how I would have gotten myself going.  So thank you, William and Kate, (insert curtsey) for helping me on The Royal 20.

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