Longest training run ever

The first time I trained for a marathon, my one and only attempt at running 20 miles failed. This time around, though, my non-plan planning arranged for a few 20 mile runs instead of just one. After getting sick a few weeks ago, I re-planned my non-plans and settled on two 20-mile or more runs. Anything would be better than what happened 3 years ago. Richmond Marathon, 20 miles, GarminToday, I did it. 20 miles. 20 rough, hilly miles. It wasn't pretty, but I did it. I finally have a moment in this training session to not say "longest since" and say "longest ever" ... today was my longest training run ever.

This run had its ups and downs -- literally and figuratively. All told, I had 1,200-plus feet of elevation gain and about the same in elevation loss. The hills really got to me after about 15 miles. I really wanted to call it quits, but I was clear across town from where I started -- it was at least 2 miles to get back home, so I kept my head up, avoided as many big hills as I could and got it done. 20 miles.

It was so tough mentally to do this by myself. While the first 5 miles were with my dog, it just got really tough to concentrate after a while. But I got it done.

With 6 weeks to go to the Richmond Marathon, I couldn't be happier to get a 20 miler done now. When I go out for it again in a few weeks I'll know that  I've already done it once. There's such a mental victory with that.  And next time I hope to step it up more. Today was about logging the miles; the next time should be about more than that.

For now, though, I'm happy just knowing that I have a 20-mile training run under my belt for the first time ever.