Tomorrow I’m scheduled for a (‘nother) 20 mile run. I ran this distance last Friday, but I’m hoping for better results.
I was not so well prepared for last Friday’s run. I had taught all day, so I’d had little time during the day to eat or to drink much water. The usual fatigue of a full workweek also weighed on me. I went out with the intent of a slow, slow long run to end the week.
I was surprised, then, when I found myself feeling pretty good for the first 10 miles. At mile 11, when I stopped for a water break, my legs bounced and jittered with the lovely energy that marks a good run. for the next 5 miles, they felt okay. Then, my lack of preparation kicked in.
My runner friend has a saying I enjoy, which seems to apt for this situation. Every runner knows the moment in a strenuous run when your body just crumples, and you curve your back forward and suddenly your legs feel incredibly heavy. My friend likes that say that that’s when “he put the refrigerator on your back.” Let’s pause a moment and just visualize having a refrigerator strapped to your back and trying to run. That’s pretty much what it feels like, right?
At mile 16, he put the refrigerator on my back.
My form went to hell; my back bent forward and my feet were barely clearing the ground. My muscles suddenly became stiff. I stopped sweating and couldn’t form spit anymore. I knew that 20 miles was a lot to ask of my body, especially with such poor preparation. Those last four miles were many times harder than the first 16. They sucked. But I successfully made it home after 20 miles.
So really, 20 miles should be old hat by now, right? And I’m better prepared. Tomorrow’s run should be a cinch.
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