Exceeding Expectations

I will be honest – I had VERY low expectations for my 20 mile run this morning. I went to bed negative about it and woke up negative. Even when I left the house I wasn’t even sure if I would complete the whole 20 miles. Last week’s 20 miler really messed with my head – it was SO hard. I was anticipating freezing temps, pouring raining and a poorly-fueled body this morning.

Around mile 4, I snapped myself out it. I made a plan and decided that I was going to prove myself wrong. What was my plan? I broke the 20 miles into four 5-mile segments. I made a deal with myself that at the end of each 5 mile chunk, I would walk for .10 miles and eat a Gu or mini Clif bar. I promised myself not to think about the 5 mile before or the 5 miles to come and focus on working hard for just 5 miles.

Guess what?  It worked!!! I have been playing around with my timing for fueling on the run and had my first Gu 1 mile sooner than I normally would. I think this timing of re-fueling every 5 miles worked great. I did Gu-mini Clif bar-Gu. And I had a 3rd Gu in my Spi Belt just in case I needed extra.

The differences between this week and last week were huge:

  • I stayed positive the entire time
  • I took it a little bit at a time
  • I finished the 20 mile 10 MINUTES faster than last week (that’s 30 seconds faster/mile)
  • I walked in the door with a smile on my face when I was done

The rain worked with me, too. It sprinkled a little, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I was a little over-dressed for the weather since I was expecting major rain, but I was never too hot. I wore long pants, a tank, longsleeve tech-tee, water-resistant vest and had a beanie that I wore during the times it was raining. I also had a poncho in my Spi Belt in case, but I didn’t need it. I am glad I found it in the hall closet, though, because it might come in handy on race day.

I guess I just had to get the jitters out last weekend with my first 20-miler. My confidence for marathon day is so much higher after today’s run. I actually felt like 6.2 more miles was a possibility when I got home. Not that I wanted to run 6.2 more miles, but last week it didn’t even seem possible. I am super proud of myself and so glad I snapped out of my funk and decided to conquer those 20 miles. It just goes to show you how much your mental attitude affects performance.

Noodles & Company Winner

The winner of the Noodles & Company giveaway is Jennifer! Congratulations, Jennifer! Email me at amanda(dot)modernation(at)gmail.com and I will get your certificates out to you on Monday.


3 thoughts on “Exceeding Expectations

  1. Kate says:

    I love the idea of breaking the run up and adding a reward. Good job!

  2. Teresa Bauerle says:

    I loved this posting. It reminded me of my mind set when I did my 10 mile race. It was my first real race and I was so nervous and when I started I was so scared I was not going to be able to do 10 miles. But after mile 3 I thought ok think of each 1 as just 1 mile. Don’t keep track of how many more you have to do. And it took my mind off of what I was doing and before I knew the miles were flying by.

  3. […] Second 20 mile run (much better than the first) […]

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