Fitness · rock n roll · The Journey to 26.2

20 Tales from Twenty Miles

Aka Things I Learned Running 20 Miles (for the very first time):

  1. 20 miles is really far. Like, really, really far.
  2. Body Glide EVERYWHERE. Toe blisters aren’t pleasant.
    • Okay, I already knew this, but still.
  3. Reapplying sunscreen when sweaty is hard.
  4. Never underestimate the power of the warm-up walk.
  5. Runs that start hard are not necessarily going to get easier.
  6. Have a plan in place to push you forward when it gets hard (because it will get hard… and I’m not talking about actual injuries here). It’s so much about the mental game.
    • My run yesterday started hard, started slow… and it never ever got better. I carried motivation and positive mantras with me in every single step.
      • One more mile, earned not given, no excuses, just finish the distance, it doesn’t mate how slow you go, you made a commitment to yourself, and so on…
  7. It’s okay if your training runs are super duper slow, it’s about the mileage and time on your feet. This is NOT the race.
  8. The Pacific Ocean makes for an excellent ice bath.
  9. Don’t hit snooze. You WILL regret the extra time in the sun because you didn’t get up the first time.
  10. Similarly, prep/pack the night before. Yes, it’s worth the effort.
  11. My SpiBelt is truly the best thing ever.
    • Okay, I already knew this too. BUT, in a half marathon I’ve never had to carry quite as much as I have on these last couple long training runs. I wasn’t using that thing to its full potential! Haha.
  12. A visor is KEY. My Sparkle Athletic/Headsweats visor especially. I love how little I have to deal with sweat getting in my eyes.
  13. Have your post-run clothes and fuel ready to go. I’m SO glad I was ready for this.
  14. Always bring spare headphones.
    • I am so glad I prepared for the moment my Bluetooth batteries died.
  15. Try compression socks for the run and not just the recovery.
    • Okay, this one is maybe more of a thought while running and less of a lesson learned since I haven’t tried it yet, but that’s okay.
  16. Audio books are everything.
  17. Plan your route carefully, especially if you’re training solo. Do you want to loop back by your home or car to refill your water bottle or refill at water fountains? How long will your run take (or are you testing new fuel) and will you need a restroom? Will you have a lot of stoplight stops? Think about these things.
  18. Also, and it gets to be it’s own point, plan your route so that it doesn’t take you by your car/home several times near the end.
    • I basically extended the 17.9 route I ran a couple of weeks ago and started in a slightly different spot. I also reversed it because the end stretch felt long last time and I wanted to get it over with quickly this time. Unfortunately in the spot my car was in this time, I managed to pass really close to it at 16 and 17.1. I also didn’t calculate my extension right and passed my car at 19 too. The 20th mile was excruciatingly long.
  19. One bad run day doesn’t mean all future runs will be bad. Mindset is everything and pushing through to complete your goal will automatically put you in the right mindset to get past the low points in that run and set you up for future runs.
  20. In that same vein, you’re going to feel so accomplished finishing 20 miles (yes, even if it’s your slowest, even if your legs feel heavy, even if it’s the worst, even if it doesn’t go as planned, even if you get sunburned or have blisters). It builds character.


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