Well, that was far. Twenty miles is, indeed, a lot. Thankfully I survived, thanks to some water, stolen salt packets from McDonald's, Power Gel (Chocolate? Really? Gross.), a couple strangers and my iPod.
To ease the mind of my very worrisome mother, I wore my spankin' new Road ID and shoved my cell phone into my gear pack (along with Power Gel and salt packets - for cramps, duh). I'll have you know that I call it a "gear pack," but all it really is is a fanny pack for runners. You hear that? A FANNY PACK. I won't lie. I wear that bad boy loud and proud.
To be fair to my ego, it is a little bit cooler than a fanny pack. But fanny freaking pack all the way.
Between that and the iPod and the Garmin and the Road ID, I was strapped to so much gear, I was three ropes short of a mountain climber, but whatever. Running 20 miles may as well be mountain climbing.
To ease my sanity, I broke the run into five-mile segments. I ran out five miles, stopped for a few minutes to stretch and refuel, and ran back five miles. Rinse and repeat. Three and a quarter hours of running later, not including the stretching and refueling breaks, I was d-o-n-e.
I have several problems with today's run. A) TWENTY MILES. Wow, that's a good chunk of distance. B) The weather was a little too warm for my liking. If it weren't for the clouds during my last 10 miles, I would have collapsed and died at least 13 times. C) Water. Holy cow. I ran out of water in my water bottle (which I CARRIED with me. Bad idea, No. 3) about 15 miles in (this was my second bottle of water).
When that water ran out, I swear to the lord I don't remember another time I was s-o-t-h-i-r-s-t-y. I wouldn't have made it another three steps, nonetheless five more miles. I got desperate. Luckily there was an innocent bystander in the form of a handyman doing yard work, and I pleaded with him to take my water bottle inside to fill it up.
OK, really it was more like, "Hi. I promise I'm not crazy. I just need water. Please?" He obliged, very nicely. In fact, he let me in to fill my bottle up with filtered water from the refrigerator.
THERE IS A JESUS.
Seriously. That one act sort of made my day. Restored my faith in humanity. I don't know the last time I was so appreciative, which I think was evident with my, "Oh my gosh, THANK YOU SO MUCH." Over and over.
Hope he didn't mind the sweat I dripped all over his kitchen floor.
So anyway, I made it. And I felt good, surprisingly. A couple high school runners even helped me pump water from an old pump fountain on my way back through the park.
Strangers are so nice! Hi, strangers!
I got back to my parents' house and promptly climbed into the hot tub. That was probably the best decision I ever made in my entire, young life. Hot tub. Sore legs. Powerful jets. O-M-G. That was the moment I was born for, swear to god.
My parents also performed their civic duty and filled my stomach with the most delicious BBQ pulled pork sandwich I've ever eaten EVER. It was either that, or I was so damn hungry cat shit would've tasted just as good.
And so here I sit, freshly sunburnt, runners tan lines in place, legs perfectly sore and an ice cold Gatorade in my hand. Dammit, I feel good. So excuse me while I spend the rest of the night in front of back-to-back-to-back episodes of LOST.