On Thursday morning I prepared for my longest run yet. 15 miles. I ate a protein bar, drank some water, did my usual warmups, got a little nervous, checked that I had what I needed about 12 times, and then finally hit the road. Since I had the day off work, I had the luxury of running at 10 AM (which felt very strange to me). I usually run when it is still dark and cold out.
Mile one I spent reassuring myself that I had run 13.1 miles plenty of times & that 15 was no big deal.
“13 is basically 15…I’m just running a half marathon and a 2 mile cool down…”
Mile two I ran under a freeway overpass & thought “damn, it’s good to be a runner!”… right before choking on a little exhaust.
Mile two-three I knew I would have to deal with a few annoying stop lights and in order to not totally kill my running mojo at each stop I became crazy runner girl—I ran back & forth through the crosswalk until one side turned green & I could continue on my way. If you ever see someone doing this, resist the urge to point and laugh (just trying to keep my legs moving, you know!?).
Mile three 1/2, Ahhh finally! I made it to the Embarcadero, now I can run forever without stopping.
Mile four-five I spent trying to convince myself that if I did 12 miles now, then I could just do 3 miles tomorrow to make 15.
“You need the rest, don’t worry about doing 15. 12 + 3=15 so, yah, 12 it is!”
Mile six I distracted myself by looking at the water, the ballpark, the cars, the dirt, a trashcan, a sign. Then things got real interesting when I started to notice other runners around me and I made up little stories of how far they were running, where they live, what their names were.
“That guy totally looks like a Dan. Yah, Dan who lives in the Financial district is doing his regular Thursday morning jog. It takes him 30 minutes & he always follows the same course. A planner. Type A. Married to a woman named Janice. Yep, there goes Dan.”
Mile seven-eight. Must.Have.Water. I looped back around and headed for a drinking fountain at the ballpark. I stopped for 1/2 a second to snap this photo (the ONLY photo from my whole run). Yes, it is a terrible picture but it was a good moment.
“I am really doing this. 15 miles it is!”
Mile eight 1/2- nine 1/2 I kept telling myself that 8 is pretty much 9 and 9 is pretty much 10, so I had already run 10 miles, which I had done MANY times.
Somehow I looped around again, hit the water fountain again, and then found my way to mile twelve. I started to head toward the Ferry Building and the famous Pier 39 and decided that since I already hit 12, I might as well do the freakin 15!!
Mile thirteen I became rude evil running brat. Thank god people can’t hear your thoughts.
“uggggggghh, move. Why are all of these people walking so slow. OMG. Ok, 13.1 is totally fine. That’s a half marathon! Who needs those extra stupid two miles. UGGHHHHH Move. Out. OF. MY. WAY!”
Next, I called Lali & told myself that if he answered, I could stop (and secretly hoped he would talk me out of it).
HE DIDN’T ANSWER.
Getting to mile fourteen (where I decided I would turn around to complete the final mile back toward the Ferry Building) took a lot of mental toughness. I started to focus on my legs and noticed how much my calves ached. I quickly realized that was a bad move. I started to focus on my music & decided to just put one foot in front of the other. Easy as that I told myself.
Mile 14 1/2, my spirits were higher and my goal finally seemed attainable. I couldn’t wait to see the Ferry Building. I got to 14.99 and my mind was still trying to sweet talk me to stop. It’s funny looking back and realizing how mental running really is.
Mile 15. Starbucks stop. Drank all of their water. Sweat like a pig. Walked to BART. So very happy.
When I got home, I refueled with a very simple meal of eggs with Tapatio & a strawberry protein shake. It hit the spot & didn’t require me to think or pay attention. The very best post long run meal, is super easy or made by someone else in my opinion.
Later that day, I got this email & it made my day (again).
Long story short. I ran the 15 miles. And, you can too! Sweet talk gone wrong & a run done right.
What is the longest distance you have ever run?
What are some of your long run tips?
P.S. I missed you all when I was gone this weekend, can’t wait to tell you all about it!