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Tuesday, September 7, 2010


This post is from Abbi at Higher Miles, a blog that catalogs her amazing journey from running her very first 5k to a full one year. Her blog also has a club that I am very jealous of. It is called "Distance Dreamers" and it is a group of runners who are doing their first marathon and have banded together to share encouragement, tips, and training tricks. I am not eligible to join. This makes me pout. But if you're up to your first marathon, you better get over to Higher Miles and check these dreamers out.
Abbi and I discovered that we were both running the Freedom's Run marathon in Shepherdstown WV this coming October. Since our training plans are similar, we thought it would be fun to share our first twenty-miler recaps. Mine was way back when, and it sucked. Abbi's was this weekend, and it was...well, read for yourself!

It’s Abbi, from Higher Miles. Grace and I are training for the same marathon, Freedom’s Run at the beginning of October. Several weeks ago, I posted her first 20-miler recap. I was scheduled to run my first 20-miler last week…but it didn’t happen. Since I am new to training for a marathon and somewhat new to running in general, it seemed like the increase of miles was starting to catch up with me. I was starting to get pains that didn’t seem like they were just normal minor aches from being tired. They seemed to be pains that could get potentially worse if I continued to push it. So, I didn’t. I skipped the long run last week and threw a few small fits about it.
This week I had to work out of town but was able to spend the week at my parents house to avoid hotel living. This gave me access to a park, literally in their back yard for my mid-week runs. I worked crazy hours, ate way too many meals at restaurants but still managed to get in some 5-milers throughout the week and the runs felt 100 times better. I started to feel much better about skipping the long run over the weekend and am sure it was the right decision.
On Friday, I made my way back home and caught up on some much needed sleep. On Saturday, I headed out for another short 5-6 mile run and was feeling good about the idea of 20 miles the next day.
After another good night of sleep, I woke up around 6:00 AM Sunday morning and started getting ready to head out for the run. I wasted some time gathering up my G2, GU Chomps, shoes, headband, mp3 player, etc. Soon enough, it was time to head out.
And, the rest of the run? To be perfectly honest, it was completely uneventful. No major aches or pains, no breakdowns, no stomach pains…nothing. Just three and a half hours of solid, slow running. No stops, no breaks. The time went by surprisingly fast. I did get kind of lost once but that just made a couple of miles go by a little quicker. I went a new direction, as I usually do for the long runs, and did not end up where I thought would. In fact, I kept hitting a major road no matter what street I turned down and I really couldn’t believe I could be that close to that road!
There were no angry dog run-ins, just a few that didn’t really like me running past their front yards, but they stayed in their fenced in yards. No wildlife encounters – I usually run into a few deer in some of the quiet areas or see a group of wild turkeys in a field, but not today. No creepy people, just people going out to their mailbox to pick up the morning paper and a few walkers enjoying the beautiful day.
The weather was perfect, a breezy 60 degrees. I felt great the whole way. I only wished I had remembered my sunglasses since it was beautiful, sunny morning. I rarely looked at my watch but started glancing at it more often as I neared the 20-mile mark. Once again, it just made me realize how much is mental and about how I set myself up for the run. For all these long runs, it’s always the last mile when I start wanting to be finished but I know I could have gone further if I had planned for it.
Nothing better than a successful attempt at 20 miles! After an ice bath, some chocolate milk, a big bowl of cereal and a wonderful shower, I spent some time lounging around before I decided I was still starving and in the mood for something ‘soft’. Yeah, that’s sounds weird, but it’s what I wanted. I decided to head Bob Evans of all places and proceeded to order an open-faced hot turkey sandwich, a salad and pumpkin pie. The waitress may have thought things were a little odd as I kept ordering things and ate every single placed in front of me while my husband just had this little salad, but it worked and satisfied my craving.
I’ve been a happy camper the rest of the day and 20 miles was a definite success. Freedom’s Run – I’m getting ready!
WOW - inspirational from a girl who just ran her very first 20-miler, right?! That makes me want to go grab my shoes and run twenty right now!
Read more about Abbi's training at her blog, Higher Miles.


  1. Awesome post.

    Love the "soft" part! The 60 degree weather sounds like a dream.

  2. Great job abbi!!!! So glad your 20-miler went well too! I was SO HAPPY that mine did :-)

  3. welcome abbie!!! good luck to both of you!!! :D

  4. Uneventful training runs are the best kind. Great job with the running ... and the eating!

  5. Ha, love the part at the end about eating out and ordering all of that food! Too funny. I can totally relate, though. I always feel like I am a bottomless pit on the days of my super long runs. But I haven't gained any weight this training cycle, so I guesss it's fine!! ;)

    Congrats, Abbi! Must feel great to have this behind you.

    And Gracie - I totally cheated when I joined this group and this is technically my second marathon... but, my other one was 4 years ago, so it feels like my first... Maybe that's why she let me in? :)

  6. awesome job abbi! u rock!
    very smooth 20 miler. very proud of u!

  7. Thanks for posting and coming up with the great idea of swapping posts for our 20 milers. We're getting close to the big day!

  8. WHoa, what a perfect first 20 miler! Way to go, Abbi! It is quite impressive how hungry the body is after running for such a long time.