So New: In Which I Run 20 Miles (34 of 90)

Thirty-seven weeks ago I quit smoking. Thirty-six weeks ago I started running. In just a few weeks, I’ll be tackling the Tecumseh Trail Marathon in Bloomington, Indiana, which has 3,500 feet of elevation. I’m a little concerned at the moment.

All I can do is train. Today was my first long run: 20 miles.

The day started like all my other runs at the trail head where I begin my runs five times a week. The weather report said the rain wouldn’t come until 4 pm. I took this picture at 1:15. If all went well, I should return just as the rain hit.


I made the executive decision to walk every 5 miles to hydrate and eat. Unfortunately, I forgot to stop at the store for my fruits and such. Instead, I had 2 bottles of water with me and no food. This was a bad idea as it turns out.


I was feeling good heading into the 10-mile turn, which I’d never seen before (obviously). It was clear that I wasn’t going to do well, though. I could feel my strength beginning to go and no way to replace it.


By mile 15, the rain came. I was a bit off my pace and the freezing rains did me no favor as my strength was crapping out.

My last 5 miles were dreadful, knocking serious time off my pace. I finished at 9:30 minute miles, a full minute above my target pace. All of that came in the last five miles.

I have less than a month to fix it. But now I know what I need to fix.