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I did it…guilty as charged!  I ran 20 freaking miles!  I can’t believe it.  I didn’t run with my group, I totally forgot it was TX/ou weekend and I wanted to be ready for the game, so I ran on my own.  I filled up my jug of water, strapped on my water belt with (2) 10 oz bottles of water, 4 goos, and my debit card, put on my headphones and I was out the door.

I had a funny feeling that I might need my debit card.  I have never run with it before, but I decided to just in case.  Sure enough, 5 minutes into my run, my batteries ran out on my radio.  I stopped at a convenience store, purchased some triple A’s and I was back in business.  The run went really well until about mile 11.  I could tell that my body needed something more than water.  I decided to run into another convenience store to buy a gatorade.  I took the bottle up to the counter, the guy rings me up and I hand him my debit card.  By this time, I wasn’t feeling great.  I was sweaty and probably smelled to high heaven.  He looks at me and says, “We don’t charge anything for less than $7.”  Well, what the heck am I gonna by for $7 and run with for 9 more miles.  I was so pissed I just left.  Thankfully, there was a Walgreens that was more than happy to have my business right down the street.  I got my gatorade and I was back on my merry way.

There were points where I’d stop to stretch out my legs and they would just shake.  My body definitely wasn’t happy with me, but I still felt good.  I don’t know how to explain it.  I am very happy that I ran 20 instead of the 18 that I was supposed to run.  It’s amazing how much harder 20 miles was than 16 miles.  Those 4 little miles make a big difference and I’m sure that the six mile difference that I’ll face on the 17th will be the greatest physical challenge I have ever faced.

Now, obviously I don’t have children, but I got to thinking about that yesterday.  If childbirth is anything like the pain of endurance running, I may not be up for it.  Although, the payoff for birthing a child is much greater.  I mean, you’ve got someone to run and get you drinks, clean your house and mow the lawn for about 10-12 years.  Not a bad deal.  Don’t worry Mom, childbirth is not out of the question, but I have a feeling that it’s a lot worse than running 26.2 miles and I just might need a few years until I’m ready for that.

So, back to my run.  Apparently, I took a really long time.  I had a search party of 1 come after me.  I am incredibly slow.  My running time was 4 hours 35 minutes.  My total time gone was 5 hours.  By the time the search party tracked me down, I was already back in the neighborhood, finishing my last mile.  Once I got over the initial embarrassment of being so slow that somebody came to look for me, I asked if he would mind running to get a couple of bags of ice for an ice bath.  He did.  Thank God!

I got undressed, put on my favorite green hoodie that I overpaid for in Hermosa Beach and filled the tub with cold water and then, the ice.  When I put my feet in, I almost melted.  It felt so darn good.  It was like a hug for my whole body.  Well, that was the easy part.  Imagine this…

I’m standing in the tub with a hoodie on.  My body is so sore I can’t easily move around.  I brace myself with my hands on the each side of the tub and slowly try to sit my butt in the icy water.  I’ll tell you what, when that first cheek touched the water, I let out a very loud screech.  Unfortunately, before I could get my legs in there (the part that so desperately needed the ice bath), I had to get my butt all the way down. This took a good 3 minutes.  Once I finally sat with my knees at my chest, I slowly started to straighten out my legs.  This was difficult because of the cold and because I was so sore.  Finally, I got situated and grabbed my Bible because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to sit in that damn tub for 12 minutes without some help!  I made it though and I’m sure glad that I did.

I was and am so much less sore than when I ran 16 miles.  My knees aren’t killing and I can walk up and down the stairs with relative ease.  I did strain my groin (I cannot even say that word out loud without cringing and to be honest, it’s not much easier for me to type) to the point that I have to lift my left leg with my hand to sit in a car.  My joints hurt more than anything else though.  My ankles are a bit swollen and the middle of my feet hurt pretty bad.

I mentioned earlier that I was only supposed to run 18 miles.  My coach suggested this because of the knee problems that I’ve been having and the fact that I missed a 12 mile run last week.   Let’s just say that I was very inspired!!!  Those two extra miles were run in celebration of the fact that I hit my fundraising goal.  I am so proud of myself for running and for raising the money.  I am even more thankful for all of my friends and family that helped me achieve this goal.  Your support has helped me through the most challenging thing I have ever done and it will be a very proud memory for the rest of my life.

Thank you!


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