The 20 Miler
The 20 Miler. Some runners love it. Some runners dread it. I’m a back and forth kinda guy. Some years I look forward to it and others not so much. It usually depends upon how well the training season went. Looking back I really enjoyed my last 20 miler. That would have been early March 2017. Thinking about it, yeah it was long and at times required some tenacity and slogging along but overall the memory is a really good one. The reason is because I had a goal and destination in mind. It just so happens that it’s 10 miles from my house to the Willow Point lookout at Middle Creek Wildlife Preserve. At the beginning of the training season I set a goal to run to the point and back. The 20 miler was an accomplishment that rivaled finishing the marathon because I’d finished marathons before but I’d never run all the way to the point and back. I’m smiling and experiencing a pretty good mood just thinking back on it.
Half runners your long runs may not be as far, however, they are no less significant an accomplishment. Some of my most challenging, mentally demanding runs where the ones that broke the 7 – 8 mile barrier for the first time. I had headaches, endurance exhaustion, threw up, the whole bit. Part of the reason was because I feared the 7-8 mile distance and had this idea my body couldn’t handle anything further than 5 or 6 miles. If your dreading the 8 – 10 mile long run, take heart, you can do it.
After the 20 Miler
The Willow Point goal made the 20 miler an achievement, consequently it was something to look forward too, not something to dread. The taper is a really fun couple of weeks. You back off the mileage. You get to eat more. It almost feels like cheating. Same for the half. Your taper isn’t as long but its a time to let your body fully rejuvenate and amp itself up before race day. The important thing is to embrace the taper! You won’t do yourself any favors by over doing it during your taper. Stick to the taper plan and you’ll run a better race on April 14th.
Race day is just 3 weeks away. If you’re like me you’ll wake up at 3 in the morning sometime, maybe a couple of times, between now and race day and have to go check your computer to make sure you remembered to register. Or you’ll be driving home from work and panic that the race is this coming Saturday not a couple of weeks from now and rush to your computer to verify the date. If you’re flying you’ll wonder if you made the fights for the right weekend. The scenarios are endless and I think I’ve invented them all in my head.
We get that because we’ve lived it. Consequently, we’ve started to post links to bib numbers on the home page of the website. We update the post late in the day on Fridays so if you registered after a Friday at 1:00 p.m. your name won’t be on the list until the next upcoming Friday. We also posted a link to the runners guide. You’ll get a hard copy when you pick up your race pack.
Enjoy that long run. Stick to plan. Be safe out there. Embrace the taper.
You know you’re a runner when you haven’t done laundry for two weeks, you’re out of work clothes but you’ve got another week’s worth of clean running clothes.
Scott Miller, -rd