I ran over the Queensboro Bridge to meet my team in Central Park. There were so many runners on the bridge...passing me. Ugh. I knew I had to take it easy today, but I couldn't break my 11:30 pace. I got passed by groups of runners. This picture is a group of super speeders that breezed by like it was a leisurely jaunt. Hello 7 minute pacers. Then, sent by God I'm sure, this fabulous lady ran by, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "New York?" I answered "YEA!" She added, "20 miles?" I replied "YES!" She encouraged, "You look great! Enjoy it!" Wow. Complete stranger compliment. That's RARE in these parts. She pushed me mentally to know this was going to be a different run. 18 was then, 20 was today.
The 14 miles in Central Park were great. I got acquainted with some old friends: The hills. Although I didn't pound it out like I hoped, I did run them...ok I walked for 30 seconds on a GIGANTOR hill on the West Side...but I really did keep my consistency. Big uh oh? I stopped to stretch out my hip for 1 minute, and I forgot to turn my watch back on. NOOOO! That took up my attention for quite a while trying to figure out how far I had run without measuring it. I finally figured out that after I passed my starting point which should have been 12 miles, that my watch was .40 behind. MENTAL BLOCK. I had to keep doing the math "Plus .40", which is hard to do when you're focused on running! (Okay maybe it's just too hard for me...a teacher...give me a pen and paper and I'm set!) My coach encouraged us to keep it slow and steady, and suddenly, after mile 15, I was seeing a lot of 10's on my watch. 10's haven't been happening for me. I felt great. Then, as I passed 17.60 miles on my watch (18 miles in real life) I went onto the Reservoir to finish my final 2 miles.
I ran into my teammate Ben! We've never met, but we live less than a mile apart. Ben was setting a 9:30-10:00 pace, so I joined him. I felt like I could keep it up forever. Running with someone for two miles after running alone for 18 miles is a breath of fresh air! We kept up conversation, which was amazing since I felt like we were running pretty fast. 2 miles flew by. I was going to make my exit, but my watch said 19.60...and I needed it to say 20. So I ran the extra .40! Never thought I would volunteer to run extra on a 20 mile run!!!
FINALLY: Today, I finished my 20 mile run. I felt great. No nausea, not overly sore, ready to run another 6.2. I'm not kidding. This shocked me. Training works? Yes it does. Now, the marathon will be a whole other story of course, but I'm ready. This was an amazing confidence booster. THANK GOD FOR THAT! I prayed a lot to keep me from stressing. My knee hurt, so I called Coach Jen who corrected my form...over the phone. Praying for the children sponsored by my amazing friends and family pushed me.
Today, I ran for Prisko. She is my sponsored child in Africa. I need child sponsors still. I'm not running for me; I'm running to change lives. As the slogan on my team shirt goes: I care. And so I run. BE the life changing person in a child's life. Give it to someone as a gift; sponsor in the name of your own child to teach them charity; make the step with a spouse; get your whole family involved. I need you, they need us. Message me to become a child sponsor. Plus, you don't have to run 20 miles!
Today I was a 20 mile finisher. When the following countdown is done, I will be a marathon finisher.
21 days until the ING NYC Marathon!!!
PS. I hate my post-run pictures I look like a BOY! But I'm comfortable and want to record the memory. Ugh. I need a sparkle band or SOMETHING to girlify myself!