The Day It Was “just” 20

Thursday made things feel final; we had furniture, we were officially here to stay! I spent the day cleaning up, unpacking box after box, arranging furniture and totally forgetting there was a “20” on deck for the next morning.

Technically I took the day off; if you’ve moved recently, you know those days feel like anything but rest.

On Friday I woke up early to map a route, decide what to do, and get this box checked off. For whatever reason, 20 wasn’t bullying my mind the way it usually does. Somewhere along the way we became buddies; I’m not sure what kind of trick that is, but why not roll with it? At this point, the attitude & I need to collaborate!

Mind games? I’m onto you…

I started off by going North, which was totally new. I also started off by tackling a road that Kate introduced me to last week – rolling hills, fewer stoplights and a residential neighborhood feel, right in the middle of the city. Two out of those three descriptions are great for a Long-Run, the first was meant to be a challenge. Start strong!


Clearly it wasn’t all up; you see the descent down Massachusetts Ave, the up-and-around Capitol Hill (mile 9-10) and the flat, boring Haines Point. You also see the little jump right before I called it good; Iwo Jima (of Marine Corps Marathon’s infamous course) will not surprise these legs!

The fuel: two Nuun tablets in my Camelbak (+ ~32 oz of water); three water-fountain stops; one Peanut Butter Cookie LARABAR (split).


The motivation: a perfectly cool (55-60*) autumn morning, a sunny DC day, the tunes & a lot of sight-seeing. And stopping by to see my favorites (ahem, Lincoln!), of course! They always have nice things to say.

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The attitude: this is “just” 20 (repeat) – you’ve done this before, you can do it again. I took two breaks for my snack (mile 7, mile 15), and a quick picture-snap. I took the time to enjoy the day, manage my pace, and happily get through the miles. I took two walk breaks, because that’s okay in my book.

The result: constant energy, constant people-watching & DC-sights entertainment, elation to be at this point in the process – Success.

20 miles | 2:59 | avg 8:57

The refuel: Starbucks chocolate smoothie + bottle of water, pre-Metro ride from Dupont. This is my favorite post-run treat! Once I was home, I made some “real” food – scrambled egg pita, with spinach & hummus.

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Up to this point, I’ve wondered if I’m doing this race for the right reasons. It was initially an excuse to travel to, and run in DC. It was another trip to see friends, and enjoy the adrenaline of being in my city.

Then there was the whole “we’re moving {again}!” thing – take it from me, that’ll throw you off just a little bit.

Now, clearly this race won’t require any traveling! But I love an excuse to run 20 miles, or 26.2, anyway. And that definitely won’t be changing in the next 6 weeks!


What milestones have you taken charge of lately?



Filed under DC, learning, loooong runs, MCM, running, training

8 responses to “The Day It Was “just” 20

  1. That’s impressive, my friend! I love your attitude towards running and tackling those miles. I ran 5 this morning and it felt like a breeze…I’m ready to take on some more! I need a good RB. 🙂

  2. way to go heather! it makes a WORLD of a difference when there is scenery and good weather. Plus you are perfect at fueling.

  3. “just 20”? Ha! You are a stronger woman than me 😉 That is quite the elevation chart!!

  4. holy elevation chart! mass ave is just mean. i was late once and had to run UP, ooff.

    nice 20!

  5. I LOVE that you used this 20-miler to enjoy the day, versus looking at it as a daunting task. I need to borrow this mantra!

  6. Glad you enjoyed your day! Agree with the previous comments…that is some elevation chart!

  7. I’m training for my second half marathon right now. My first one was back in April of 2010 and afterwards, I just completely stopped running altogether (burned out, I guess). So I picked another one to run and for some reason had this HUGE mind block on 10 miles. Took me 3 weeks to finally get the strength to do it, but I finished it this past Saturday! Holla!! :o)

    I love your run pictures! You sure get to look at some pretty scenery! I still don’t think that would distract me from the fact I was running close to a full marathon distance though! You’re awesome!!

    • Heather C

      Congrats on finishing, Sarah!

      The scenery for running in DC is my favorite (though if I ever make it to the Rome marathon, that might take the top spot) 🙂

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