20 miles, Hopkinton → Heartbreak Hill on the #road2boston
The only photo I took on my 20 miler – one of only 3 real turns on the entire Boston course!
Week 4 was all about the mental element of running. With 20 miles on the books for Saturday, I started visualizing the distance early in the week. Of course extra stretching, core workouts and eating were included, too.
I am sure you are thinking, “So what do the three words in the title have to do with this?”
Well, let’s take them one by one and explore how they played a large role in my success.
Commit to your goal. I have obviously already committed to running the Boston Marathon, and it was great to have a short-term goal to finish 20 miles. Most of my nervousness came from the thought of “the wall”. Many marathoners will say that the marathon “starts at mile 20” or “they hit a wall on mile 20”. I was just mentally prepared to feel some pain at some point during the run and power through it.
Commitment plays such a large role in all of our lives.
Trust the process. Training plans work, when you work them. As I previously wrote, my wife crossed the NYC finish line after working hard in the summer heat and completing a great training plan, so I have seen success. With the TRUST that I have developed for working a plan with purpose since last June, I simply just told myself to let the process work for 20 miles.
Finish. Do everything in your power to complete the goal. As we set out with 10 lbs. of water and nutrition on Saturday, my mind was all about finishing the 20 miles. Heartbreak Hill was ~16.5 miles into the stroll, right about the mileage I had imagined some pain would set in. It did not come though, my heart-rate stayed in a good zone and we powered up to Boston College.
As you have noticed from my blog posts so far, I love to fuel. I especially love to have good nutrients directly after a run, so we packed plant based protein powder, electrolytes and a banana to munch on and help replenish my system as soon as possible. My “hanger” is not fun to be around, and I definitely enjoy recovery much more with good food at the finish!
Thank you for your continued engagement, and I hope your week is going well. Be sure to check out my fellow ambassador’s (@byemilystephens) posts, too!