This weekend, I ran my longest training run to date - TWENTY MILES!
I ran all 20 of these miles by myself, but I did have plenty of inspiration on the way! Instead of a pace band, I took an idea from Kristin Armstrong (author of Mile Markers, one of my favorite running books). She and some of her running friends make "prayer bands". Instead of listing a split time with each mile, they list a person to pray for each mile.
So, the night before I ran, I made mine. It was an awesome tool, and I'll definitely be doing it again for my next 20-miler (one more in the training plan!) and for my marathon. Each mile was a person, or group of people, that I prayed for and thought about. When I started getting tired, I thought "What would _______ say to me if they were here?" and it was a huge help!
Another little piece of inspiration was this pic that my BFF tagged me in on Instagram. I can't tell you how many times this image flashed in my mind while I was running!
And yet another source of inspiration for me was thinking about how far I've come on this journey. Almost 2 years ago, exactly, took the picture on the left - celebrating the first time I'd ever run 3 miles consecutively. I honestly teared up 3 different times during my 20 miles just thinking how grateful I am that God has given me the strength to get this far and do this much. (I also nearly hyperventilated with tears at mile 16 - which was the mile for my mom and dad...adrenaline, exhaustion, and endorphins do nothing to help me control my emotions haha!)
The final source of inspiration that was much less meaningful, but oh so important, was the thought of post-run brunch. And no - this is not all my food. The plate in the front is mine, the 2 plates behind it belonged to Mark - who also did his first 20-miler this weekend. And, might I add, the guy did it 1 hour faster than me at an average pace of 8:08 per mile - he's awesome. (mine was 11:08)
Today (it's Sunday when I'm typing this), my legs feel surprisingly good. I have even gone up and down the stairs a bunch of times with no pain. They're actually not sore at all so far today - hooray! (Let's hope that doesn't mean I wake up Monday morning with sore legs!)