- The farthest distance I would go before the marathon
- The ultimate "enjoy the journey" test
- Just me and the trail for 5 hours
[PHOTOS TO BE ADDED]
The day before, I slammed my toe into a door jamb - hard enough that I actual fell down from the initial pain. I thought about postponing my run, but decided I needed to get it done.
Once I got out on the trail, I was feeling particularly zen; there was nowhere else I was supposed to be. My goal was a 15-minute mile, with the hope of a 13 or 14-minute-mile in the marathon. This training run was slow and steady, lots of walking, maybe 2-3 short running intervals per mile. After 10 miles, I was exactly on pace and feeling good. The weather was a perfect New Jersey December day: Partly to Mostly Sunny, 40 degrees, not too windy. Somewhere around 17 miles my knee decided it was done. Even just walking was painful. I stretched for a minute, altered my stride a few different ways, slowed down, sped up, but really just grit my teeth and got through it. It was getting dark and colder as my watch ticked past 5 o'clock. Just a few tenths to go...and done! Twenty miles COMPLETE!
It was challenging, it hurt, but I knew I could complete the full distance.
Two words sum up how I felt about this run: Grateful. Accomplished.