20 miles

I’ve officially starting the 20 mile runs in preparation for the marathon. Running for 4 hours is a surreal experience. I thought prior to running these uber long runs I truly understood pain, suffering, joy, endurance, and satisfaction. But I was only experiencing a fraction of those emotions. The 20 mile runs take a lot more preparation both physical and mental. The mental part for me usually takes a full two days of psyching myself up for it. I’ve started using gels to help supplement the protein bars I usually eat. I have discovered that eating a small bit of protein bar every hour rather than waiting until I think I need it,helps immensely!

I’m also coming to terms with the fact that after all of this training, I will be running the Portland Marathon in a little more than 6 weeks. And yes, it makes me feel slightly nauseous, scared, excited, and slightly depressed. I have been working towards this goal for almost a year. What am I going to do after I run the marathon? What’s next?

I’m tentatively looking at races in 2011. I’m thinking my goal for 2011 will be to get faster. Slogging through 20 miles at such a slow speed is incentive enough to get faster. So perhaps the marathon isn’t the end but the beginning of this adventure.

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