WHAT A WEEKEND. Highlights include: running 20 miles, helping with a baby shower for my sister in law, taking maternity photos of my sister in law, taking short little hike at the state park to shake our stiff legs out, and enjoying lots of quality time with my dear husband.
About that 20 miler…
That was probably one of my most roller coaster-like runs in a long time. I started out feeling good— I had absolutely no lower back or hip discomfort and that made me really happy. I kept the pace extremely conservative, knowing that I was in for a long haul. At mile 7 I stopped to refill my water bottle, and when I began running again I felt that familiar twinge in my hip. I could sense the frustration mounting, and I desperately tried to stuff it back down. At mile 8 or 9 I had a little bit of a breakdown… I wasn’t even halfway through the longest run EVER and I was already in pain; it occurred to me that I have been dealing with this issue for coming on a year now. A YEAR. Suddenly tears started streaming down my face, and I was sobbing like a big baby. I allowed myself a few moments of wallowing, and then with the help of one of our marathon group coaches, I kicked my mentality back into the right place. I began repeating a mantra in my head, “I can do hard things. I CAN do hard things. I CAN DO HARD THINGS.”
At mile 10 I heard a loud, rumbling truck pulling up behind me. I was just beginning to get my stride back and I grumpily thought to myself, “Oh great, some yahoo is going to try and talk to me… go away random truck person…” Those thoughts were quickly banished as the truck pulled closer and I realized it was Ryan, a guy that Scott and I see and chat with often at the local races. Seeing him and receiving his words of encouragement gave me the mental boost that I needed to get back into the right mindset.
The rest of the miles were relatively uneventful— just a long, slow slog, ticking off the miles one by one, occasionally talking a walk break to give my hip and back a rest. Eventually I caught up with my mom and was happy to not be alone anymore— the solitude was beginning to chip away my mental fortitude. At mile 15 I ripped open my final Honey Stinger gel, feeling pretty excited because I was very hungry at this point. I took a small bit in my mouth and recoiled— it tasted like butt. I tentatively took another small taste, and yep, DEFINITE butt flavor. I examined the packet and apparently it was expired… last March. I seriously began to consider just collapsing on the side of the road and waiting there until someone found me… Luckily mom had extra fuel and she shared her Bonk Breaker bar with me. It perked me up a bit, and I tired to assure myself that the remaining 5 miles would be easy.
At mile 17 I was so ready to be done. Every step felt like hard work, my bowels were threatening to release themselves at any moment, and my feet felt like ground beef. Alvin, mom’s boyfriend, was out riding his bike and had found us. He rode beside me and coached me in with encouraging words. Slowly but surely, I made it back to our starting point. My legs felt relatively fine, but my back and feet felt horrible. I laid on the ground and sipped on some chocolate milk. I couldn’t believe I actually did it. I RAN 20 MILES. Hardest run in my entire life. Hands down. I’m slightly terrified by the notion that we have two more 20 milers to complete before we reach our marathon. At least with those I’ll be armed with the knowledge that I can do it.
The rest of the day was a flurry of activity, with the baby shower and maternity photo shoot. It was good, but I don’t think I’ve ever been more tired in my life. Thankfully our Sunday was relatively calm, and we were even able to get up to the state park to enjoy the fall colors. I still can’t believe we did it. TWENTY MILES.
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- 94monkeys said: I love your mantra!
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- strengthandlace said: I LOVED reading this recap! You can DEFINITELY do hard things! I’m so encouraged by you! :)
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- ariavie said: If it began when you started up after a water break, it sounds like the solution is to not stop til you’re done, right? ;)
- angeldrinkstea said: Wow. Your run!! My first 20 I hit the wall pretty badly. I don’t have any idea how I finished. You’re so impressive!! I love love love your run recaps!
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- happyhealthycook said: You are so strong, mind and body. I’ll keep saying it - I am SUPER proud of you Chelsea. You are a CHAMP. xo
- michaeldoeslife said: The first time at any distance is always the hardest. You know this. Next time will be better. Non-tumblr casey is in Europe, she ran her 20 in Poland. crazy!
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- findingsharon said: Is it bad that I cried reading this? YOU ARE AMAZING!
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- usualchatter said: Wow, you have two MORE 20-milers? That’s a long training program. Lately my runs have been subsisting on expired GU from nearly 4 years ago…..
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- whitneyrunson said: Congrats on your 20 miler! Glad I’m not the only girl that cried during her run this weekend.
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- wholefoodsandgin said: I can’t believe you ran 20 miles - you absolute warrior woman! You are going to own this marathon! x
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