The 25th Mile




Whew today was hard! I woke up and my body was SORE from yesterday, I don’t know if it was the long downhill, or the racing with the kids.  But man I felt like a Grandma! No offense Gram. But actually the run started well, the wind was at my back and I ran the first half much faster than my normal pace.  I was cruising!

It was around mile 18 that things got tough. The opposite of yesterday, it started smoothly and ended tough. I hit mile 20 and everything just huuuurt and to stretch made it hurt ten times more.

Between miles 19 and 21 I had to keep repeating to myself this little mantra that came to me while I was shuffling along:

Drink lots of water, Stride well, Always do your best. Drink lots of water, Stride well, Always do your best…I just kept repeating it aloud and I really think it helped the distance pass faster.  When I got to mile 21 I had to ask my parents to come back and meet me with some fruit and Gatorade.  I could feel myself fading.  It’s really incredible how you can see first-hand when your body is depleted.  Then when I was getting water my legs totally cramped up.  Felt like I was going to pull a muscle if I moved too suddenly.  That hasn’t happened to me almost ever, maybe when I used to race in indoor track many moons ago.  I’m still not sure why it happened or what my body needed, but I would guess salt because it was nearly 80 degrees and I was sweating a lot. So I ate the Margarita flavored Clif Shot Bloks which have 3x as much sodium as other flavors.  Consequently they tasted 1/3 as good as the other flavors.  Aw well.

So I ended up having to walk the last 4 miles. Not my favorite thing to do, but with good tunes and a sky full of sunshine, it’s hard to feel bad about anything! I tried to run the last mile so I could finish strong and I literally could not do it.  It was like my legs just froze. I figured I’d be doing more damage by trying to be a hero and run the last mile. One thing that’s really been challenged and transformed during this trip is my runner’s ego. I think most runners have it.  A certain bullheadedness about our training, our invincibility, and our endless excuses for why we just need to keep running on injured bodies. 

I’ve got a runner’s ego and I don’t think I’ll ever lose it completely, but it is definitely getting weaker as I face different situations which challenge the logic of such an ego. I feel myself making smarter decisions that will get me to South Carolina, rather than stubborn ones that will get me to mile 25 as quickly as possible everyday. Like everything it’s a learning process. 

Anyway I finished the day with 25 miles and I’ve got a funny feeling that tomorrow I will be tackling the mountains again because when I finished today there were mountains to the north, mountains to the east, and mountains to the south. I don’t think there’s any avoiding it. I tried to get a panorama of the impending mountains but my phone doesn’t take the best photos. Well actually it’s me, not the phone…


Author: zoegoesrunning

Hello! I'm a runner, a writer, and have run across the United States and the Tour de France course. Most recently, I'm blogging about my adventures in an MFA program that will bring me to Chile, Argentina, and Brazil, and my teaching plans for Argentina.

2 thoughts on “The 25th Mile”

  1. “So I ate the Margarita flavored Clif Shot Bloks which have 3x as much sodium as other flavors. Consequently they tasted 1/3 as good as the other flavors.”

    These are my fav. Love the chunks of salt in them.

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