Athletics Magazine

Surviving 20 Miles. Good Thing I Didn’t Ship My Pants

By Brisdon @shutuprun

Why in the hell I selected this route for my 20 miler I’m not sure. Almost 900 feet of elevation gain. As if 20 miles is not enough, I thought I’d throw in a few hills in there as well (12 to be exact).


The good:

  • I ran it all
  • I did not puke
  • I fueled and hydrated well (2 gels – one at 6.5 miles, one at 12 miles. 30 ounces of water. One 11 ounce Premier Protein drink (review/giveaway coming later this week)– 30 grams of protein – waiting for me the minute I finished).
  • Joie joined me for the first 12 miles. Research has actually been done about the benefits of having someone work out with you. Apparently, with a buddy, your perception is that you are not working as hard.
  • It was a gorgeous day – perfect for running – 45 degrees, a slight breeze.

The bad:

  • Stomach issues haunted me the whole time. Good thing I had a buddy to be on the look out when I had to hide in the weeds (x3)
  • Hamstring issues. Discomfort from the beginning. I had that moment of wondering if I should bail on the run to avoid getting injured. But, then the pain eased up a bit, so I pressed on. Dumb ass decision? Wise decision? Time will tell. I feel like I am always playing Injury Roulette (definition: when a runner is not sure if what they are feeling is the start of an injury or something less, so they just keep pushing on, taking the gamble that it won’t become worse and they will have to stop training, sit out their race and cry in their beer for months to come).


Pre-run, still feeling sassy

This is the first time in 2 years I have run this far, so I am proud of myself.  I will say that by the end of the run, however, I was not sure if I wanted to throw up, pass out, shit myself, or do all three at once. Speaking of “shipping oneself” have you seen this brilliant Kmart commercial? Who knew Kmart had such a sense of humor? Who even knew Kmart even existed anymore? (“I just shipped my pants and it’s very convenient!” Bahahahha!)

This is the thing about running long distances - I think if you are running or racing any distance, the last 25% of it can feel like torture. Run 10 miles? The last 2.5 are tough. Run 20 miles? The last 5 might suck. It just seems to be how this whole thing works mentally.

Does anyone else talk out loud to themselves when it gets really hard? At mile 16, I stopped for a minute and gave myself an out-loud pep talk. It was very boring: “Okay. You’re fine. You can do this. Don’t stop. Yes, stuff hurts, but you will be done soon and can lie down and have wine.” It kind of worked.

Are you injured? What do you wish you would have done differently in hindsight?

Ever talk to yourself while running, or is that just me?

Did you run long this weekend? How far?


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