For me, it was the spring of 2007. I wasn't that nervous, initially. I felt like I was pretty prepared (well, as prepared as you can possibly be for your first). I was pretty confident and cocky about the whole thing... but then when it was actually upon me and staring me in the face, I uhhh... got a little overwhelmed. Once I realized that I just had to take it step by step, I settled down and I started to get into the groove. Slowly, the confidence started coming back... And I felt like.. hell yes! This is awesome! I am awesome!
And then as it went on... I started falling apart. At first, I just started feeling a little tired. And then the crankiness set in, and by the end of it all, I was an awkward, sweaty mess that was yelling obscenities... WILL THIS EVER F*CKING END? MAKE IT STOP! WHY THE HELL DID I EVER AGREE TO DO THIS? THIS IS A NIGHTMARE.
And then it was over.
And I was thrilled! I had finally done it! I had finally knocked out my first 20 mile training run!
Ahhh... the memories... April and I ran that 20 miler together. It was St. Patrick's Day and the luck of the Irish was with us...
See! We even tattooed our calves with shamrocks and leprechauns!
It was a great run and it was an awful run. I distinctly remember getting angry at April around mile 18 when she informed me that we still had to run AROUND A GODDAMN LAKE, instead of just running straight to our car to get the full 20. I also remember telling her that I was putting my earphones in, because I had to "dig deep." The ending was awful. My mental wheels fell off around mile 17 and I don't know how April didn't keep from throwing me into that piece of shit lake.
But she was a trooper and put up with all my bitchiness and we celebrated the run as soon as we got home... with... pizza! And tequila shots! And then... an Irish bar... where our Irish luck started running out. Let's just say that was the first (and thankfully the last) time I've ever had to open the door of a car to puke while riding. Good times. Good times indeed.
In all actuality that was one of my favorite runs. Sure, the last 8 miles of that run sucked hard and I was a real bitch... it's a memory that I'll always have. My first 20 (with my best friend, no less!)! The training runs mean more than the races... the training runs are where you spill your blood, sweat, tears and you drop lots of F bombs. There are no encouraging spectators, no family members out to support you, no live bands or water stops. It's just you and the road... and if you're lucky.. a great running partner (or if you're like April... a shitty training partner. Sorry dude, I know I suck).
Tomorrow is another first... not for me, but for my friend/running partner Carolyn... it's her first 20 miler. And while I'm fairly certain there won't be any tequila shots afterwards... I'm not ruling anything else out. I'm really hoping that bitchy Amy doesn't rear her ugly head around mile 16 or so... but, I can't make any promises.
Hopefully we'll live to tell the tale next week...
How was your first 20 miler training run? Did you shout obscenities for no good reason at your running partner? Did you get as drunk and unruly as April and I did afterwards? Do tell.