This was a milestone run on a number of levels... (be warned, there will be a pic of my blistered toe later... don't say I didn't tell you so!)
First, it marks the first time I have ever run with a partner for more than a mile. Thanks, Josh, for helping me out there. I knew that I would need the mental support, and you were able to distract me for 10 miles! Impressive! :)
Second, it marks the first time I have ever battered my toes to hell. Ironically enough, I told Josh during the run that I had NEVER had any issues w/my toenails. Bragging really. Ha. The universe showed me. I don't remember it hurting at all during the run. I don't even remember it hurting AFTER the run. But have MERCY, when I took off my shoes & socks to get into the ice bath, there it was. I won't lie- I yelped. Seeing it made it hurt. My nail is now loose, and if it survives to the weekend, I will be extremely surprised. :( Looks like the open toed shoes I was coveting for the summer are going to be put on hold. Such is the life of a runner. :)
Finally, it marks the first time I have ever ran 20 miles. 20 miles. For whatever reason that stands out in my head as a milestone number... it means that I am only a 10K away from finishing my marathon. One 10K... a distance I have covered over and over. But after running this 20, I have tremendous respect for a 10K now. This run abused me. It chewed me up and spit me out and then let its dog do the same. My hips (which have been bugging me a bit for about a month now) were out of whack. I could see it in my shadow... I was lumbering along- nothing graceful about it. My lungs were still angry with me for the tease I gave them by running for a weekend at sea-level and angry because they were still recovering from a cold. And mentally, I was battling with myself about how strong I really am. Ragnar was a good experience, and I adored it, but it did leave some battle scars- doubt and exhaustion. It's only now, 9 days post-Ragnar that I feel rested again.
In hindsight... I didn't fuel enough. I had a smaller than normal breakfast (pre-run nerves had me gagging my food down). On the run I only fueled post 10 miles. No bueno. This is probably what caused my energy to fall apart at mile 15. And yes, I fell apart. I remember telling Josh I couldn't do it. He was awesome- told me that I could take one more step. One step became a mile. That mile became the 5K countdown. I walked in this time. I cried. It was ugly. But at the end of it all, I finished. 20 miles... 4 hours and 10 minutes. NOT an impressive time. Ugly. But it's *my* 20 mile time, and I'll take it.
And now- celebration food! Sushi & Blue Moon!