Technically that’s not true. I still have a Fast Finish 18 next sunday, but the monster of a 22-miler is done! I have never exceeded 20 miles during a training cycle, and the last time I did 20 was back in 2004. All my long runs during recent years have actually never exceeded 18. The 20 that I did 2 weeks ago didn’t seem so daunting since it’s been done before, but 22 is new territory for me.
The last 4 miles was purely psychological – I just had to convince myself that it was just an easy 30-minute run. There was a lot of internal debate going on during those last 4 miles however.
Maybe I’ll just do 20…No, it’ll be a long walk back to the car.
Alright, just 21 since it’ll be an easy downhill stretch…No, mile 21 is Heartbreak Hill, you’ve got to scale that hill past the Shake Shack, you’ll hate yourself later if you don’t.
Fine, I’ll do 21.5 – after scaling the Shake Shack hill…Why throw away an easy downhill 1/2 a mile.
(In case you’re wondering, I’m a Gemini, and this is what we do. It drives Virgos (husband/sister) bananas initially, but once they catch on they learn to tune me out.)
So there your have it – 22 miles.
When I’m running 2-3 hours on a stretch, I have a lot of time to reflect (on a lot of things). One thing I realized about myself is that I am nothing but persistent. Sometimes, my heart would sink when I see certain training runs, fearing I would not be able to complete it, but I’ll grit my teeth (and negotiate with myself – there’s A LOT of that going on) and get it done. I’m not gifted, talented, or particularly smart, but once I have my heart set on something I will keep at it and do what’s necessary until I reach my goal. This applies to both training and life in general, and I think mom and dad played a big role in this – they seldom said I was smart, but always encouraged me to do my best.