Recently, I was going through a series of runs that topped one another. I suppose you could call it my Longest Run Stretch, because I set new benchmarks seemingly every Sunday out.
I ran 13 miles one weekend in October, which equaled my Longest Run Ever at the time, since the only other time I'd run that much was during my half marathon in April. The next weekend, I ran 14 miles but that run held the Longest Run Ever title for exactly seven days, as I ran 15 miles the following Sunday. Then, a few weeks passed before the Cedar River Run, which at 18 miles is still my Longest Run Ever.
Well, my friends, that's all about to change. On Sunday, I will run 20 miles with the Lopers. If I make it through that run, I will have a new Longest Run Ever.
It's quite motivating to think that I can actually run that long and make it through such a distance but it's very daunting. I mean, this is taking double digits to a whole new level. This run not only has a 1- in front of it, it has a 2-. And you know what other run has a 2- in front of it, don't you?
Yeah, the big one.
But I have to take a level-headed approach to this 20-mile run, just as I will have to for Surf City.
I've demonstrated the ability to run long distances, and running long distances by myself. It's one thing to run 12 miles in a group setting, as the time can fly by in the midst of conversation. But when it's just me out there cranking out mileage, it really comes down to what I have to give. And I've shown I have plenty to give.
Just like anything else, though, I can't get consumed by the enormity of the distance. I need to break the run down into parts. I can look at it as two 10-milers, or break it off into three smaller runs. It's about the same as three seven-milers, and seven miles isn't quite daunting anymore.
And when it comes down to it, it's like running three consecutive 10Ks. Convert 20 miles into kilometers and you get 32.18688, so it's three 10Ks and then 2.18688 more on top of that, and 2.18688 kilometers is nothing. Right?
Either way you look at it, 20 miles, 32.18688 kilometers, three seven-milers, three 10Ks plus a 2.18688K, two 10-milers... it's a really long distance.
But if I start to think about trying to swallow 20 miles whole, without chewing, I will not enter the run with the right mentality. I'll tense up and will become a ball of nerves, and balls of nerves don't do well running long distances.
What this all comes down to is just one more challenge, and with all I've been through over the last four years, what's another challenge to me? If I haven't shown I can't meet challenges head on and conquer them, then I don't know what I've shown.
So, 20 miles? Bring it. Give me your best shot, and I'll show you what I'm made of.