How NOT To Complete Your First 19-Mile Run

Chris —  December 18, 2009

I still don’t have a full time job, and I’m a glutton for punishment, so I’ve half heartedly decided to follow my victorious first ever half-marathon with February’s Austin Marathon.

It’s been hard to get my heart back in it.  I’ve been doing three or four mile runs, and even a whopping eight.  Then a few guys at work who said they were going to do 15 last Saturday, so I decided to get my butt in gear.

My knee’s been bugging me, I’ve never run 15 miles,  and it’s rained every day in December.  But I joined my co-workers for this little jog throughout Austin.  Around mile 11 I hit my wall, and the course became a series of hills that seemed to have been transplanted from my home state of Colorado.

My running partners were long gone when I hit a stop light, where where we had planned to turn.  I took a right, and found myself in unfamiliar territory.  My body grew low on fuel, I got lonely, and I knew that I had to be at work soon.  I did my best to head the direction of my car.

By this time I had gone far out of my way, I began to fear that I wouldn’t make it back in time.  My body began screaming, my legs weighed about 2,000 lbs each, and I seemed to be running through waist deep concrete.  I made a vow to myself and the Holy Spirit that I wouldn’t stop running, no matter what.  Many times I realized that I could probably stop and walk faster, but I knew that would be the end.

After 3 hours and 20 minutes, I returned to my starting point.  When I mapped it all out, I had run 19.35 miles; six more than my all-time total.

The moral of the story?  I don’t know.  Study the map.  Turn around if you get lost.  Don’t schedule a big strange run before work.  Beg you running partners not to leave you behind.  Solicit donations from blog readers for an iPhone or a Garmin watch.

Or just don’t run marathons.  They leave you tired and hungry and sore and late for work.

The funny thing is, I’m excited about this race again.  Yesterday I strapped up my knee and purposefully killed my legs on a few big hills.  Before running a half marathon I didn’t think I had it in me.  I definitely didn’t feel ready for a 19-miler–but I finished it.


Bring it.

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