from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.
Lao-Tzu

Monday, April 09, 2007

smile at mile 20

It’s winter in New Mexico… just kidding. It snowed during my big run on Saturday. For real. It snowed. For the duration of six miles, mile 14 through 20.

Mile 20. A bit too much, too soon again, but I figured I cannot go into a marathon four weeks from now with a base of 19 miles completed four weeks ago. My weekly mileage over the last months has been fitful and erratic, not at all the steady accretion I wanted. I did 13 miles the week-end before, and I was sore for days to come, and my morning runs were hard. Once again, I was scared of the big run.

All week long, when I thought about it, I told myself I can do it. I had done four loops last Sunday, I could do two more now. Two more loops. “I can do it.” I did six loops around the Academy track, roughly 19 miles, and an extra leg and back to complete 20 miles.

4 h 13 min. It wasn’t fun. I was still congested, and had to blow my nose every two miles or so. I have a hard time breathing when I run as it is, and obstructed airways didn’t help. I took a GU at mile 13. Oh, I hate energy gels. They give me a tummy ache. And I cannot sense any improvement afterwards anyhow. Why can’t we have a quesadilla instead?

The fog over the mountains never lifted, it was bitterly cold, all the runners disappeared from the track, it felt as if I was the last person on the planet still running. But the snowfall stopped, as if on cue, when I reached mile 20. I could not envision a single step beyond it, but loyal to the web address of my blog, I smiled.

Two more loops will bring me close to 26. Two more loops. Only six more miles. I can do it.

12 Comments:

At 7:49 PM, Blogger Backofpack said...

You CAN do it. And you can have a quesadilla too if you want it. Though personally, I wouldn't do dairy during a race. How about trying clif bloks? The gels upset my tummy too, but the clif bloks go down just fine.

Keep up the good work!

 
At 8:04 PM, Blogger JustRun said...

Oh you SO CAN DO IT! This makes me so excited for you, reading this!
Don't try anything new during a race... at least take it on one of your 8-10 milers.
You're doing so well, if I could I'd drive down to NM tomorrow and cheer you on!

 
At 9:01 PM, Blogger Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

What crazy weather we had!

You are so close. I know you can do it.

I'm cheering for you. Can you hear me?!?!? LOL

we have such totally different goals, but maybe sometime we should run together (you'll have to slow down for me) and have a chat. :)

 
At 9:50 PM, Blogger robtherunner said...

Congrats on the 20 miler. I will be the second person to tell you that there is no law that says you cannot eat quesadillas during a run. You might want to try it on a training run first, but coming from the land of ultras I think solid food is better than any gels you can force down me. Nothing like a real meal during a race to keep you moving. Just keep it light.

 
At 7:17 AM, Blogger Running by.... said...

You can do it. You have no idea how much the race day energy & atmosphere will carry you. You'll be great.

 
At 7:25 AM, Blogger Deene said...

Good job and keep smiling! i don't see why you can't have a quesadilla. i used to make pb and tortilla roll-ups cuz they could fit nicely in my water belt.

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger Joe said...

> Oh, I hate energy gels. Why
> can’t we have a quesadilla
> instead?

Maybe try eating salty peanuts instead. See Dr. Mirkin's article, Sports Drinks.

My brother is a marathoner. Instead of gels, he eats salty peanuts or salty trail mix. If you try it, just make sure to try it BEFORE race day.

A quesadilla would be nice but then you have to pack salsa, guacamole and beer. That's too much to carry. :-D

 
At 2:48 PM, Blogger Bre said...

You can do it! you totally can!

 
At 5:00 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Hey...thanks for the idea Lia ! Now I know what I'm gonna scarf on after the marathon .... I wonder if they have mexican food in Eugene?

Seriously though, you covered 20 miles today, no worries at Shiprock.

 
At 8:06 PM, Blogger Journey to a Centum said...

You could mix it up a bit as well with the fueling and have a little bit of each.

The finish line will pull you the final six miles. Six mile that I'm sure will be filled with smiles. Can't wait to see a picture of you coming across the finish line!

 
At 3:35 AM, Blogger RunBubbaRun said...

Great job on the 20 miler. I'm sure you can do it. They say the "wall" comes at 20 and after that you are home free..

You will get there..

Try changing gels. That stuff works different for everybody..A different brand might be better for the tummy..

 
At 9:03 PM, Blogger Chad said...

you just amaze me, your blog seems quiet and then boom you post a 20 mile run. You are going to do great. Have fun and smile at mile 26.2!

 

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