On running.

Twenty miles is a long way to go on foot, in case you were wondering. On Saturday, I ran through 20 miles of Lansing, Mich., about seven of which I coherently remember. Something about a capitol and Michigan State University and a river trail. It was a long run. Very long. And I realized just how not-up-to-par my running's been lately. I ran with AJ, and we were joined by a new running pal of hers, Lena. It was fantastic to run with a handful of girls again. I miss running with people.

And then they kicked my ass.

We completed the 20 miles at an average mile pace of something around 9 minutes and 35 seconds. And I can guarantee, had I not been there, they would've ran 9 minutes, flat. Swear to God. They were TRUCKING. I felt so... slow. And third wheel. And TERRIBLE.

My body felt OK, but mentally I was shot. When did I lose my decent pace? When did I become the girl in the group to fall behind? Every thing I could rip apart about myself, I did. I had a good three hours of running to do so.

I'm slow. I've lost it. Did I gain weight? Third wheel sucks. Wish they'd just go on ahead. I can't keep up. This BLOWS.

Those thoughts ran through my mind for 20 miles. It took its toll by the end. Once all was said and done, and I was showered and feeding myself sushi by the handful, I felt like shit. I had completely beaten up my self-esteem. Destroyed it.

Were my jeans too tight? My sweater ill-fitting? Did I run 20 miles or gain 14 pounds? I wanted elastic waistbands and a nap.

Looking back on it now, I realize I'm kind of a moron. I ran 20 miles. How the hell else many people can say they did that on Saturday? Or have done that ever? My body, however imperfect and slow and bitchy, is a machine.

Or at least I tell myself that now because I'm doing it again this Saturday. I'm heading out of town for a half marathon, and tacking 7 extra miles onto the day. Could probably think of cooler things to do with my weekends out of town, but I'm a runner. Dammit.