Thoughts During a 20 Miler

A few weeks ago, I ran my first 20 miler in almost two years.  The last 20 miles I ran was during the Phoenix Marathon in February of 2015.

Thoughts during a 20 miler

After deciding marathons weren’t for me and taking 18 months to enjoy 5ks, I entertained the idea of the marathon (see past tense there).  Heck, at this rate I might entertain the idea until I’m 70.

So two weeks ago now, I set out with my friend, Angela to attempt 20 miles.  Our only goal was to get 20 miles done.  Thinking out loud, there was no pace or time goal.  Heck, I could slog 20-minute miles for the last few and be happy it was done.  Luckily, Angela was the same way (or at least pretended).  Angela is currently training for the Philly full in just under one month.

So with that…we were off!

The first few miles went by easily.  Of course they did, I’ve run 3 miles in almost all of my training runs.  We caught up chatting, amusing about life and our day.  It was humid but not too bad.  17 more didn’t feel too bad.

Around mile 3, I bumped my watch and set the mile markers off.  From mile 3 until the end, I didn’t know what our pace was…my only reasoning for even having a Garmin was for it to beep the majestic 20 miles!

Mile 4, I began to realize we still had 16 to go.  Omg…16…

Mile 5, I passed by my old house.  Luckily I didn’t see my previous landlords.  I think running by gave me some sort of weird energy to run faster.

At mile 6, I said: “we must be at mile 6 because I always need a bathroom stop”.  I drink so much water in the morning; I almost always have to go to the bathroom around 6 miles.  I don’t want even to think about running when pregnant…I probably won’t. I will stop every half mile.

Mile 7 and 8, made me realize we still had a long way to go.  I began questioning myself.  Would I make it to 20?  Despite taking a rest day, I still felt achy.

At mile 10, I realized: “Oh my stars,” we haven’t even gotten to the “hard part” yet.  The first 10 miles are supposed to be easy….right?  Well easy to some I guess…

Mile 11, 12 and 13 all went around a giant river.  It was easier to stay motivated because there were several friendly faces out.  Part of the path was blocked off because they were chopping down a tree.

How dare they chop down trees and block the path for runners?  What are they thinking…the nerve.

At mile 13.1, I felt accomplished. We ran a half marathon.  Is the running done?

We could quit now…minus we were no closer than 6 miles from my house with no cell phone.  Not the smartest idea to make a giant loop with no cell phone….then again running 20 miles is also not the smartest idea.

At miles 14 and 15, I began focusing.  It began the countdown of “Only 6 miles to go…only 5”.  We hit “Jakes Place” (the playground that is benefited from the race I recently did) around mile 16.

Four miles…you can do this.

Angela is much more well trained than I, and she glided effortlessly.  OMFG, why can’t I have your 20-mile perfection?

Right, because I’ve chosen to run 5ks for the last two years…

Mile 17 entered the neighborhood with multi-million dollar houses.  I wonder if I can get a few chauffeurs just to drive me home.

Only 5k left…you can do this…I remember saying to Angela: “so much happens in a 5k…let alone running 17 miles beforehand”.

During Mile 18, I began looking for the Turkey Squad.  Several turkeys hide and linger in my neighborhood.  My goal is to avoid them.  I petrified of geese and turkeys.  The absolute last thing I want to do is see them at mile 18…or 19…or ever.

Mile 19: They came out of nowhere.  The turkey squad was there.  I do not have time for turkeys, especially at mile 19.  I had no energy anyways, but the extra energy I did have was spent crossing the road and staying as far away as possible.

The last mile was the final countdown.  I was in the twilight zone.  By this point, we knew “only ten more minutes”.  Only 9…only 8.5…7.5…

Then all of a sudden, we found ourselves at 19.8.  While I’m not typically a “to the Garmin” person, I needed the trivial .2 to complete my oh so accurate GPS 20 miler anyways.  After circling a culdesac, we finished.

While I felt accomplished, I didn’t feel like I was ready or wanting to run a marathon.  Honestly, I don’t think I would have been able to run much further.

At least we look happy?
At least we look happy?

While it was a fun run and it was great to catch up with friends, it did seal the deal that I’m not training for another marathon soon.  I’m enjoying much shorter events.

Question for you: What was the last long run you did?

 

You Know You’re a Runner When…

I’ve been working at the Running Store for over two years now.  I’ve probably seen every kind of foot type and gait you can imagine.

I’ve even  written several running shoe related posts (if you ever have a question, just ask):
Losing Toenails: The Runners Rite of Passage?
What to Expect at a Running Store
How to Find the Perfect Pair of Running Shoes

I blog about running; I work at a running store, and I run myself.  Heck, I’m not even an elite runner, but a good portion of my life is influenced by running.  Of course, a good portion is not but that is not what I choose to blog about🙂.

So perhaps you’re walking around the world and you see someone you think you could share your hobby of running.  How do you know?  How can you tell?  Those bright speciality running shoes?  That vintage race t-shirt? 

You know You’re a Runner When:

You’re Shoes May Cost $120+, but a single pair of socks costs about $12+…hey, blister free running is worth it? 

You Pay $30 for half an hour of fun…but watching a movie in theaters…no thanks.

Your wall décor are medal holders, race awards and finishers trophies.

You’ve taken a vacation that revolves around a race or 3… 

Your laundry consists of 95% running clothes, 5% other clothes. 

You’ve purchased plenty of liquid sugar (GU) but whine when regular food has added sugar.

You wear compression underneath everything.  Work clothes, date night, wedding? 

cep compression capris
I’ve got compression for my compression…

You wake up earlier on the weekends for long runs or races.

You must finish a run on an even number.  5.89 miles is not the same as 6 miles…as a 10k…as half a marathon…as 7 miles…

Your coworkers stopped asking if you wanted to go out for lunch because they know you’re going for a run.

Your significant other used to try and change your mind about running but has since given up an even joined you for runs or races.

Can't beat them, join them right?
Can’t beat them, join them right?

Question for you: What are some runner’s quirks you have?

Happy National Coffee Day

There are very few “foodie” holidays I celebrate.

National Coffee Day

Why?  Because there are so many, in fact, there is a food “holiday” almost every day…See this master list.  Thinking out loud, it’s no secret that I enjoy coffee.

National Coffee Day

Coffee, however, is one that I do.  I drink coffee almost every day.  I like the taste.  I’m also in the minority that drinks decaf after noon because I want to sleep.

My top 3 favorite places to get coffee are Wawa, Starbucks and a local place down the road.  Oh look, even at my wedding, we had a coffee bar.

coffee station

There isn’t a lot of coffee I don’t like.  My favorite way is to top with whipped cream.  It gives a little bit of sugar, and the bottom is more creamy since the whipped cream eventually melts into the coffee.  So it’s dark and bold at first, then more creamy and “dessert like” at the end.

Mustache Bills Coffee
At Mustache Bills Diner
Want free coffee?  Here are a few places celebrating the day.

Wawa: free (any size) coffee today

Krispy Kreme: free 12-ounce cup of coffee and a free glazed doughnut

Dunkin Donuts: Dunkin Donuts is celebrating National Coffee Day and being in business for 66 years.  They priced a medium hot coffee for 66 cents on Thursday.

Starbucks: Starbucks is not giving free coffee but will donate a coffee tree for every brewed cup of México Chiapas coffee you buy.  Today’s cup can help a farmer’s future.

national coffee day

Finally because who doesn’t like a little bit of history about the beverage they love? 

History of Coffee: “According to a coffee history legend, an Arabian shepherd named Kaldi found his goats dancing joyously around a dark green leafed shrub with bright red cherries in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.”

History of Coffee and How is Spread Worldwide: Interesting video documentary/video

national coffee day

Questions for you:

Are you Celebrating National Coffee Day?

How do you like your coffee? 

The Differences of Non-runners and Runners

It may be hard to remember, but there are people in the world that don’t run!  The life of Runners and non-runners is drastically different.  I can remember a time I didn’t run and can relate to all of these.  Thinking out loud, every person, athlete or not, has a routine.

The Differences of Non-runners and Runners

How do runners and non-runners stack up against each other? 

Budget

Non-runners: Non-runners save money for a lot of different things: happy hour, the newest technology or even a great wardrobe.  Whatever if it is, they put away money to do the enjoyable “fun things”.

Runners: We save money for new shoes, new workout clothing and of course races.  Don’t forget the newest GPS watch.  The smaller the watch, the more money it is.  Without these things we can’t do what we love!  Right?

Beauty Routine:

Non-runners: Non-runners know how to make their features look great.  They spend an hour preparing for the day and look flawless every single day. Each outfit is perfect.

Runners: Runners have mastered the ability to shower and put on makeup within 10 minutes.  Did they just workout on the treadmill or are those fashionable leggings? The world may never know…Good thing fashion has evolved into a lot more comfort.

Eating on the Go and Snacking:

Non-Runners: Non-runners can go hours without eating.  Forget to pack a snack? That’s fine, they just hit up the vending machine and are ready to go. 
 Life doesn’t revolve around snacking and being rungry all of the time.  If a meeting goes late, oh well!

Runners: Our non-running friends know us as the vending machine to go.  We have more snacks in our bags than a mini-mall.  Are you craving an apple or a chocolate bar?  We have both.  Runners are never without snacks because you never know when the stomach will start talking.  When Runger hits, you have approximately 5 minutes to get us to the nearest supply of food, or you will see rage that you have never seen before.

Weekends

Non-Runners:  After the work week is over, non-runners often catch up with friends by going out for happy hour or dinner. They have a few drinks, dance and let loose.  Most of Saturday and Sunday is spent relaxing and catching up on other hobbies.

Runners: Runners look forward to the weekend too! It’s either race weekend or long run weekend!  Either way, we are waking up earlier than a weekday.  We spend Friday night cuddled up in PJs, watching a movie and in bed sleeping before 9.

Weekend Brunches:

Non-Runners: Non-runners wake up anywhere between 8 and noon.  After a well-rested sleep, they meet friends at a neighborhood breakfast spot. It doesn’t matter if it’s crowded because nonrunners are just waking up and going out to eat.  They aren’t starving yet.  Of course, our non-running friends look gorgeous and spent a few extra minutes getting ready for brunch. Heck, they might even fill up on mimosas beforehand! No wonder they are so happy waiting hours for a table!

Runners: On the weekend, runners wake up well before the weekday. We get our long runs in and before we know it, it’s time to eat, and we are just trying to make it there on time.  There is nothing more cringeworthy than waiting for brunch after a long run.  A messy bun, somewhat fashionable workout clothing and an old pair of sneakers are our signature brunch look.

Question for you: What is something you do that your “non-running” friends might not understand? 

 

8 Things Runners Training Through the Summer Understand

As summer approaches, the change in weather and attitude to does too.  Running in the summer can be fun, exciting but hot.  We complain about the cold weather in the winter and the warm weather in the summer.

8 Things Runners Training Through the Summer Understand

Thinking out loud, here are some thoughts I have when training through the summer.  While I’m not training now, I know I’ll have the same thoughts again when I return to outdoor running.

Your desktop homepage is the weather app.  

Who knows if it will be 90 degrees, humid or down pouring? It’s the first thing you check in the morning and the last thing you check at night.

You have more tan lines than the average person.

Runners have every tan line from a sports bra, watch, sunglasses, compression socks, and even shoes.  On second thought maybe it’s better not to go to the beach this year.

Your diet consists of salt tabs and Gu.

With all of those electrolytes lost, hydration is essential.

Running at 5 am doesn’t phase you.

In the summer, it’s light, cooler and you beat rush hour traffic. You never knew you were an early morning runner until the summer hit!

The lighter weight the clothing, the more expensive it is.  

Who knew you would pay so much for a moisture-wicking tank top? It keeps from sticking to you when it’s 90 degrees, so it’s worth it.

Sunscreen is your lotion.

You and your running group all smell like a glorified trip to the Carribean.

Your route is planned to end at the pool, lake or ocean.

Perfect to cool off.

There is always a mystery if what kind of workout you’ve done.  

Why is your clothing shaken wet? Did you go swimming? Did you just sweat that much or run through sprinklers? The mystery is always there…

Other related articles:
5 Types of Summer Runners
Losing Toenails: A Runners Rite of Passage? 

Click to Tweet: 8 Things Runners Training through the Summer Understand

Questions for you:
Do you do any of these things?
How do you train through the summer?

Five Types of Summer Runners

As we enter the hotter and summer months, it’s guaranteed you’ll see more runners and characters on the road.  Whether you know the runner, or don’t you’ll begin to recognize many faces. Maybe you even fall into one of these categories (I know I do).

Five Types of Summer Runners

Here are a Few Types of Runners you Might See This Summer:

Sweating Sam

It doesn’t matter the temperature, but Sam sweats more than anyone you know.  You can typically follow their route due to the trail of water and salt they leave behind.

Did they just finish a swim or run?  The mystery is always there.

Treadmill Timothy:

Your training buddy practically disappears in the summer.  All summer, they aren’t seen once outside.  They are still running and training, however, Timothy chooses the treadmill all summer.

Why?

Maybe they want to catch up on the great reality TV in the summer.

Maybe they want to avoid getting sunburnt…

Whatever the case is they typically stay inside from about May to September.  They get their running in and shock your local running community when they come back with PRs in the fall.

Hydrated Hillary:

Hillary packs water bottles for her waterbottles.  Whether it’s a 1-mile run or 20, you can always count on her for being prepared with plenty of water.  Thank goodness because you’ve had to rely on her a couple of times more than you would care to admit…

Routine Rhonda:

Now that it’s the summer, Rhonda can be seen running her same route at roughly the same time.  It’s not the safest option, but you can see Rhonda around the same point in your run every day.  Whether Rhonda is walking a dog, running, biking or just out and about, you always look forward to the point where your paths cross.

Shirtless Steve:

From about May until September, Steve is never seen with a shirt.  Steve runs in as little as possible and tries to avoid any and all tan lines.  You’ve seen Steve during training runs, at races, and around town…but never with a shirt on.

Questions for you:

Do you share traits with any of these characters?

How do you prepare for summer running? 

How to Celebrate Global Running Day

Today is the best Holiday ever!

Despite the government not recognizing it as a national holiday, today is Global Running Day.  Most of us still have to go to work, but hopefully, you can celebrate with your friends or alone if you desire.

how to celebrate global running day

How can you celebrate National Running Day?

Step 1:  Go for a run.  That would make sense…run on running day.

  • Find some friends and run.
  • Go to your local running store and run with local running store friends.
  • Run with a spouse, friend, child or even your pet.
  • Or run by yourself if that’s what you like to do.
  • Or if your schedule calls for rest, do that too…you’re actually still a runner whether you run today or not.

Step 2: Post on Social Media that you have celebrated Global Running Day.

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Youtube are all perfect platforms to post

Here are some other ways to celebrate National Running Day:

  • Walk around with your favorite medal around your neck all day long. Seems natural right?
  • Set up a finish line shoot in front of your house. Invite friends to complete their run at your home.
  • Put every single running car magnet, decal and sticker on your vehicle.
  • Cheer for random strangers as they walk or run anywhere. Motivate them to do their thing!
  • Sign up for at least 10-15 races today.
  • For the entire day only eat energy gels and GU.

Step 3: Finally at the end of the day, give yourself a trophy because why not.  You completed the best day ever, and everyone’s a winner. 

Click to tweet: How to Celebrate Global Running Day

Questions for you:
How are you celebrating National Running Day?
Do you like to run with people or alone?