Milestone: 20!!

I think I can officially call myself a runner. If running 20 miles in the rain doesn’t grant me that title then I dont want to know what I’ll have to do to earn it!
Originally my plan was the do the 20 on Saturday. However, snow Friday night caused me to finally cave in to some friends’ requests demands that I come see them. On a side note, is it bad that when I pack to go out of town now I end up packing all running clothes…so much that I when my bag is full I think I have everything but I have no regular clothes? Good thing my friends are close to my size.
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They literally filled my facebook wall and every inbox with silly messages until I agrees to make the hour and a half drive . I love these girls.
By the time I got home Sunday it was too late to start – it would have been dark by mile 15 and I’m way too cute to be running alone in the dark on the planned route. Such a disappointment because Valentines Day would have been a perfect day to do it. It was sunny and beautiful out. Plus I say running is my boyfriend now and Valentines Day really should be spent with your significant other, right? What can I say? I’m smitten 
Monday morning was a slow start. I had gone out Sunday night and although I didnt drink enough to do any damage, it’s probably not the best idea the night before a 20 mile run. I decided the best route would be on the American Tobacco Trail. It’s an old rail road, which is now covered in packed sand and serves as a pedestrian, biking, and horse trail. It’s flat and super easy on the joints. Plus there are mile markers every half mile to help with my pacing. It was raining when I pulled up to the parking lot. I was tempted to bag the run but I knew I’d hate myself more if I skipped it.
I had the whole trail to myself because of the rain. It was so relaxing. The last three long runs were around a lot of people and/or traffic and it was nice to run without making “that girl runs slower than I walk” remarks in my head. The first 3 miles were really hard. I tried to push the fact that the run would be so long out of my head and just keep focus on getting to the next mile marker. The fact that they were coming up every .5 miles made me feel like I was accomplishing something. My whole body started to ache around mile 16 and misery started to set in. As a did a mental inventory on when was hurting and how much, I realized my form was off. My shoulders had shrunk. My stride was too short. I seemed to be shrinking with every step. Surprisingly, when I straightened up, focused on pushin off with my back foot, and ran faster, it hurt less. A LOT LESS!! I’m proud to say I was able to finish strong. Who would have thought?
I was hurting a lot when I stopped running. My muscles felt like they were crystallizing during the drive home. It was similar to the feeling you get right before the muscle cramps – only it didnt last for a split second it lasted for 20 minutes. The next day I was walking like Frankenstien. Nothing really hurt but it just wouldnt move the way I wanted to so I finally purchased a foam roller. WOW people on the boards werent kidding about how much that hurt. However, the next day my first steps out of bed were not like Bambi learning to walk so it was definitely worth it.

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