Running 20 miles just seems so much farther than 18 or 19, although it is only 1 or 2 miles more. I think the fact that it starts with a "2" and not a "1" that makes it sound so much more serious. Since my normal running buddy was competing in a triathlon today, I
I ended up running 1.5 miles before the group started to run, then 14 with the guys, and finished the last on my own. It was a much faster 20 than the pace I've been running my long runs at - a 9:02 average. I've been mostly running around 9:15, a very comfortable pace for me. 9:02 felt good, but I'd rather run slower now since the marathon is still over 2 months away. Right now I am more concerned with getting the miles in and spending time on my feet as opposed to running a set pace.
I can remember conquering 20 miles in the fall when I was training for Chicago and felt so accomplished to run that many miles. Today I felt glad I got my miles in, but that feeling of accomplishment was nowhere to be found. Perhaps it was because I was the last person running today in the group, or that my buddy wasn't there, or a lot of my other friends, or the weather, or it may have just been me. I know not all runs will be wonderful and fabulous and leave you with the feeling like you could go on forever and some are just that - runs - putting one foot in front of the other for x amount of miles.
I am hoping that my next 20 miler will not only be successful in terms of accomplishing it, but also leave that pure running joy in my heart afterward.