20 miles on top of the world!

This morning was my 20 mile run.  The longest run post Green Bay Marathon.  And I felt ready!  I have been excited all week to tackle this baby and kick some serious arse! 🙂

For me, this run was all mental.  Since I strained my Achilles tendon a month ago, I had to forego my planned 18-20 mile run and opt for a nearly 50 mile bike ride.  So, I was a little nervous about the 20 miles since the furthest I’ve run since May 19th has been 16 miles.  And, I was excited because in my crazy crazy life, I actually LOVE long runs!  I love how I feel leading up to them, putting in the weekly mileage I feel healthy, strong, and albeit extremely tired, generally good about myself!  And post long run, I feel like I just conquered the world.  I am on that high right now as I write this.

Two running buddies started out with Bisou and I at 5:45 this morning.  We set out on a 5.5 mile loop.  Molly was recovering from a sinus infection and battling the effects of cold medication- dry mouth, coughing, and difficulty breathing.  I am inspired by her- I’m not sure I would have been such a trooper feeling like poo for 20 miles.

We finished the first loop and dropped Bisou off at my house, stocked up on our gels and gummies for the next 14.5 miles and Brian joined us for the second leg.  We set off towards Raccoon River Park, I thought hopping on the trail around the lake would help break up the run and give us a nice change of scenery.  I felt good going in, legs felt strong and the company I was with was great- which helps!  We finished the loop and started back down Grand Avenue to E P True Parkway and I was amazed at how this run was just flying by!  We were already at mile 12 and it felt like we’d only been running for an hour!  Molly wanted to grab some tunes, so we looped 1 mile back to my house to refuel and grab more water.  Brian finished his run with us and we decided with only 7 miles left and the sun starting to beat down, we would hop on the Jordan Creek Trail for an out and back in hopes of finding reprieve in the shade.

I felt annoyingly good at this point.  I knew the heat was getting to my running buddies so I tried not to be annoying, but this run was just feeling so great!  About a mile down the trail, we decided to break up.  Kate was heading back towards my house, Molly was going to take it a little slower, and I needed to keep going so I didn’t cramp up this late in the game.  The trail, ended up being not so shady, but I managed the 3 and a half miles until my turn around point to head back home.  I’m not going to lie.  I was feeling great up till this point, but knowing that I was turning around to go home, well, it was an indescribable feeling.  I started thanking God for the endurance and the energy he had blessed me with to get me this far.  My garmin started ticking down the miles.  2 miles left.  1 mile left.  By this point, my legs were sluggish and I was going pretty slow, but dang it, I was conquering this run!

By the time I got home, my hands or maybe my entire arms were shaking as I tried to pour myself some coconut water for a post-run drink.  I chugged it and went outside to greet Molly as she was finishing her run.  Not long after, Kate finished hers.  Completing 20 miles as the temperature slowly crept up from mid 70’s to the 80’s with, once again you guessed it, high humidity, is something I think all 3 of us can be very proud of.

As for my post long run reward- I plan to grill chicken wings tonight and then toss them in the most amazing buffalo wing sauce that I found the recipe for online, with a side of homemade sweet potato fries.  MMMMM MMM Delish :).  And, maybe a glass of Shiraz… I think I deserve it.

Cheers!

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