Today my teammate and I ran our first of four 20+ milers in preparation for the Providence marathon in May. Whether you are a runner or not, you probably know that it's pretty tough to pull off a marathon without doing at least one of these long runs. Personally, I either need to have a running partner (thank you KH) or a damn good playlist to help me out because three hours with no mental support is border-line torture. So, we met at 9:00am and hit the road. Here's how it played out:
Phase 1 - Miles 1-5
We're fired up. Our legs are relatively fresh and the caffeine from our coffee is providing a pleasant buzz. We haven't seen each other over the week-end, so we're chatting away, catching up and telling stories. The miles fly by.
Phase 2 - Miles 5-10
Reality slowly begins to creep in. We're still cruising along but our legs are reminding us that we'd done 45 miles the week before and, despite a rest day on Saturday, they are still tired. We're motivated by our upcoming water/GU stop at mile 10 and we still have some energy for conversation, so we're holding steady.
Phase 3 - Miles 10-14
Now we're tired. Our legs are on autopilot. All we're dishing out at this point is quick questions with one word answers. For example, I asked if there was any way to avoid the hill we were going down at mile 14 on the way back. "Not really", my teammate replied. It was worth a shot. We run by some Swedish fish that someone has dropped on the sidewalk and I seriously consider picking one up and eating it because I'm craving the sugar. I don't do it. But I want to.
Phase 4 - Miles 15-20
It's quiet now. All we hear is the shuffling of feet and our synchronized breathing. Cars are whizzing by. Dogs are barking. Geese are honking. And exhaustion is setting in. Will power is moving us along. There is no more talking. Just camaraderie.
Done. One down. Three to go.
Listen to this:
California - Delta Spirit