Well, for now, at least...
That's right. I showed up on Saturday morning at the Nashville Striders Training Run ready to tackle the 20 miler. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning and I came prepared with shot blox and dried cherries and my handheld water bottle, which after hearing about all the water stops, I left in my car for most of the run.
Originally, I thought I'd be doing awesome to maintain a 10:30 pace for most of the run. So, that was my goal. I wanted to run slow and steady and get the miles in. But with the glorious weather and the awesome company, I ended up maintaining about a 10 minute mile or so for the first 8 miles. It was at this point, that I broke off from my company, when I elected to run up a hill that would give me an additional .8 miles (I know, I know... I elected to run up a hill for extra mileage. WTF? When did I become that overachieving annoying bitch??). From then on out... it was just me... which, frankly, I didn't mind at all. It was a gorgeous morning and I easily stayed focused on the mileage and made my way back to the parking lot. Once I got to the parking lot, I quickly took some gatorade, said hello and goodbye to my friends and ran off to my car to grab my handheld water bottle and headed off in the opposite direction.. towards the bridge and Shelby Bottoms for my last 3.5 miles.
Again, I was feeling good. Really good. I was rocking this 20 miler like it was the Kroger to Kroger or something. It was at this point, that I started encountering people finishing up their 20 miler and heading back to the parking lot. I love this. I love it when us runners bask in our hardcoreness by giving each other words of encouragement after running a shit ton of miles. Anyway... while I was basking with my fellow peeps... one gentleman who approached me said... "Love the block." To which I smiled (because I had no logical response to that comment) and thought to myself... the block?? What the hell is that? I spent about 2 minutes trying to figure out what the hell the block was, when I finally realized that's not what he said.. he said... "Love the blog." Whoops. And once again, running makes me look deaf, dumb and like a social asshole. Sorry dude. Thanks though! Don't let my mental slowness keep you from saying hey to me again sometime. I'm not normally so fuzzy-brained... only after running for a couple hours.
It was at about this point during the run, still feeling good, that I started to notice that I was slowing down a bit. So, I stayed focused on my watch and tried to maintain a sub 10:00 pace for the last 3 miles or so. I was still feeling really good, but I was getting a little bored of running. So my mind was starting to wander, which was why I was slowing down, I think. My legs and feet were still feeling great, I had plenty of water and while it had gotten a little warmer, it was still beautiful outside.
Finally I reached 20 miles as I was starting an incline to get back into the parking lot and I immediately hit the stop button on my watch as soon as I saw it said 20 and walked up the hill to the finish area (thatta girl. there's the slacker, lazy Amy we all know and love).
Anyway, it was a HUGE confidence booster for me. I even negative splitted (barely) the last 10 miles. I'm ready to tear this training shit up for the next couple of weeks!! I'm back on track, baby!