Monday, March 26, 2012

Melted faces, chafing, and pain: Must be 20 miles!


This time of year, there are a few posts that you’ll see popping up on blogs:

  • OMG, the weather is sooooo amazing!! I finally got to run without any snot-cicles!
  • My coach/training plan is evil, no human should ever have to run this much. I’m going to punch running in the face.
  • Hooray! Race Report! Free watered down gatoraide!
  • Oh my god, that run was so hot I think my face melted off. Why am I chaffing there!?


Saturday, I was scheduled for 20 miles that would cap off a 67 mile week.  For the record, I hate 20 milers.  Hate them like Charlie Sheen hates rehab.  I do them because they are a necessary evil for marathon training and they make my friends and family ohh and ahh about how far I ran: “You ran TWENTY miles this morning?! It takes me half an hour to drive that far!”  Why yes, I did run 20 miles, now out of the way while I eat this entire pizza.

Unfortunately, the 20 miler this weekend was one of my more miserable runs in recent memory.  I had decided to sleep in a bit and play with my son before heading out onto the pavement.  This gave the parched Arizona desert some time to heat up like the surface of the sun (Read: like 70 degrees) and the traffic time to get just thick enough that I had to stop at every single stoplight.

As I was getting ready, sitting on the toilet contemplating the Greek debt crisis and world hunger, I also thought about how I was dreading the run.  There is something about running 20 miles that makes the pain of a marathon seem “real”.  Gone are the ‘easy’ 15 and 16 mile runs.  20 miles means you’re close to the race.  20 miles makes it REAL.

Don't Busey your run
You know what happens when you start off dreading a run?  You have a shitty run!! I totally let my brain talk myself out of a good training run.  The mind is as a powerful muscle in its own right and sometimes training it is just as important as training your legs.  So, all week long I’m going to work to focus on giving every run the best chance for success possible.  After all, this weekend I’m not running 20 miles, I’m running 22!

So, looking back, I suppose this post falls into the “oh my god, my face is melting off” category.  For that matter, I did chafe in some strange places. Stupid 20 milers.

21 comments:

Losing Lindy said...

I have horrible mental issues. I have run so hard twice (I know I am lame) that I Have almost puked. Maybe I will eventually become a runner.

Jen said...

I always have to fight the urge to dread a long run- I agree it really is wrapping your mind around it in the right way. And my face melted off last week too.

Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

I love 20-milers. Long runs are my favorite. And you know I'm not kidding... they are sincerely my favorite. You know what I hate? Freakin speedwork... wonder who would make me do something stupid like speedwork?

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

I don't like 20-milers, either. Never have. And I rarely have a good 20.

Missy said...

Entertaining post as always.
I'm a total headcase, I need to work on training my mind as hard as I train my body.

Sue's Ramblings said...

Ok...you win...you've 20-22 miles. Now I shall stop whining about my 12 milers.

C2Iowa said...

Don't Busey your run - - perfect!

Christina said...

I actually like the 20 mile runs. I feel like I've accomplished something. The first 1-6 miles are pretty rough though and then I get into it.

Jamoosh said...

Suck it up already. Embrace the 20 miler. Do the second half at marathon pace or faster. Man up if you want that BQ.

Runners Fuel said...

I went for a late afternoon long run the other day and hit every single light. I wanted to scream!

kilax said...

Ugh, I have had a lot of long runs that way lately - take forever to get out then am all poopy about it. I don't have a good excuse (playing with my child) like you do! Hope the next one is better!!!

Meghan said...

I am training for my first half marathon - so 20 miles sounds very scary. Yet - I understand the mental anguish that can overtake you physically during your long runs.

When I am struggling - sometimes I say - ok there is only 10K left - I've done that before, etc. It helps!

Katie said...

I have never run 20 miles in a row in my life. Insert general supportive comment here.

BrianFlash said...

Gary Busey and Charlie Sheen are both looking pretty used up. Can't wait until they are both as old as Keith Richards.

Good luck on the 22 miler!

Half-Crazed Runner said...

Sometimes it's just one foot in front of the other.

Chris Johnson said...

As Steven Wright said; "Everywhere is walking distance...if you've got the time." A 20 miler is easy, if you spread it over enough time. I am a slow, stubborn runner. So how long it takes me to run 20 miles is a footnote (get it..."foot" note? how cleaver I am). What I do focus on is how I feel at the end. I rarely feel like I want to do more. But yet when it comes marathon day, or hopefully ultra-marathon day, I feel ready and it pays off.

katierunsthis.com said...

First of all, I *love* 20-milers. In fact, I almost love them as much as telling people I ran 20 miles that morning. The look of astonishment is priceless. Plus, it then gives me carte blanche to eat whatever I want that day. 

Quit dreading your runs, man! (Oh, that sounds terrible in a non-running context.) You are just going to sabotage yourself!

I hope this weekend’s 22-miler is stupendous, exhilarating, rewarding, fulfilling, and…well, all those other positive things!! Optimism!

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Jason said...

OMG you are running 22 miles this weekend? That would take me an hour on my bike.

Spike said...

Sometimes I just lie...say I have no idea how far I ran. I just ran for like 3 hours. Then people really look at you strange.

I think we all have more of those FML 20M runs that good ones.

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