20 Miles and a Decision is Made
The glory of a 20 mile run is in how many thoughts can go through your head as you approach such a significant number of miles. If you don't believe me, check out a recent post by a friend (who writes and runs much better than I do).
The past weekend was my venture into the realm of 20 miles. I chose to take part in an organized run put on by the Oakland Running Festival. For those running the full, you could run the first 20 miles of the course. For those running the half, you could run the entire course. By far a great opportunity to gauge your readiness before race day and a fantastic (and out of the box) idea by the event. Take note other races.
Nearly 300+ people came out and we were sent out in waves according to pace. It was a rainy morning, so they also provided laminated routes (bonus points for preparedness). I on the other hand showed up late AND right on time to join the 10-10:30 group.
I wasn't sure if I was ready for the full distance and I was about to find out. The first 10 miles flew by pretty quickly. I was moving smoothly and my recently updated playlist was bringing life to my legs. I started to think that perhaps I was going to do fine. Heck, I was right on pace and this was over a hilly course. Look at me go. I might be ready to PR in three weeks.
Remember when I said different thoughts pop in your head throughout 20... well, four miles later things were about to drastically change. My legs started to feel fatigued and the music wasn't doing it. Slowly block after block, my mind and body just quit. I was still a good 5 miles from the end of the training course and I knew it wasn't in me. A sad realization after a spectacular first 10 miles — which happen to be the more challenging section of the course. One thing was for sure, if it wasn't in me today, it wasn't going to be in me in 3-weeks. Face it: I'm not ready.
To remove any doubt, it wasn't just a single bad run. If that were the case then I might be able to convince myself to give it a go, but this would make it 2 weekends in a row that I didn't have more than 14-15 miles in me. That's a sign. My training isn't there and the last thing I want to do is set myself back by pushing too hard.
The good thing is that I know I have 14 miles in me. I had a great time at last year's ORF, so I've decided to give the Half a go. I want to be a part of this wonderful thing that is happening in Oakland. A couple friends are also running the half and having a stress free event might bring my mojo back, cuz it sure has left the building, Elvis style.