18 miles…with the end in sight

Due to the aforementioned GMAT, my long run was postponed until Monday. Sad that I literally changed a trip to California in order to take the GMAT during a long weekend so that I wouldn’t miss my long run. I should be committed…not I am committed (which I am), but I should be committed.

Anyway, I went to bed relatively early Sunday night, so I thought I would be good to go Monday morning, but I was wrong. First of all, I set my alarm too early. Remember the last time I ran super early in the morning, before it started to get light? Well, I felt no need to relive that experience, so when I saw, at 5:30, that it was still pitch black outside, I hit snooze. I’m amazed at the effect the snooze button has on my mind. As soon as I allow myself to think, “Hmm, maybe I don’t have to get up right now,” my mind decides to take that thought and run with it. During the hour and a half I spent lying in my bed, hitting the snooze button every eight minutes, I thought of every reason I didn’t need to get up and spend 3.5 hours on my feet, running.

I was tired. My head hurt. I had eaten way too much crap on Sunday…and Saturday…and Friday for that matter. I had a mild case of heartburn (one more reason to eat healthy food). My little brother and his family were in town and I could spend more time with them. I haven’t slept in for over 4 months, unless 8:00 on Sunday counts. With as late as it was getting, it was sure to be hot by the time I was done. What on earth made me think running a marathon was a good idea? No one would think I was a bad person for not choosing to run 18 miles.

But then this little voice, the voice that has seen me through every tough decision I’ve ever made, the voice that drives me to keep going even when I’m sure I’m going to fail, started to whisper, “You can do this. You want to do this. You live for these runs.” And then the whisper got louder, “When have you ever let a little headache stop you. Think about how you will feel this afternoon if you don’t run. Think of how amazing you will feel after you have. Remember when you were at the park last night and you were telling Justin and Cherity that, in the morning, you would be running from two miles further up the canyon all the way down to Utah lake and Justin said that he wouldn’t even drive that far to meet someone for lunch? Remember how good it felt when you thought about the fact that your body can run that far?”

Pretty soon it got loud enough to be really irritating, “You are not a quitter. You are a runner. You are a doer. You are not lazy. You feel bad about all of the crap you’ve eaten, but think of how much worse you will feel if you don’t run. If you get up now, you’ll be done before 12. It won’t be that hot and the last few miles are pretty well shaded. Get up, eat a little something, take a couple of Ibuprofen and get on with it already. You know you are going to do this, so why are you putting it off? It’s only going to make it worse.”

My mind beat my matter. As it always does. I often laugh after conversations such as these because they are truly an exercise in futility. My matter rarely ever wins and, frankly, arguing with my mind is pretty exhausting, especially because it totally prohibits any kind of rest that might otherwise be enjoyed. But, being the stubborn mule that I sometimes can be, I often try the arguments out, just to make sure I’m not losing my debating skills.

So, after much discussion (in my head…yes, I’ve already told you, I’m slightly crazy) I got out of bed, ate half a Cliff Bar, took two Ibuprofen, got dressed, gathered up my gear and I was off. I headed up the canyon and started to feel more and more excited about the prospect of having run (yes, being done with) 18 miles. While the running was a little painful at first (I really did eat a ton of crap all weekend long…something that often happens when my siblings are in town…only because I think it’s an excuse), the scenery was amazing. There was a whole little family of deer at the end of the road where I begin my run. The trees have already started to turn and the colors were absolutely gorgeous. My lack of desire to run was superseded by the sheer beauty of what I was seeing.

I know this isn’t the greatest pic, but all I had was the camera phone.

And then the endorphins started to kick in. Not like a runner’s high, but just a mild euphoria…less from running than from thinking about how blessed I am to be able to run in such a beautiful place, to be able to run at all. I thought about Anne and her knee pain and how lucky I have been when it comes to my lack of injury. It was one of those perfect moments. I would have been so sad to miss it. And then I spent the next three hours formulating essays in my head…you know, for all of my grad school applications. I thought about living in all of these different places. I thought about new opportunities. I thought, and thought, and thought some more. As one who thoroughly enjoys daydreaming, running is an ideal forum. I get to think to my heart’s content without feeling that I should really be doing something else.

I finally made a new playlist and that was quite enjoyable. I took the run a little slower and only took a walking break every other time a slow song rolled around. My pace was nice and steady. I did have a cramp in my left arch from mile 8 on, but it wasn’t really painful, just a bit uncomfortable. When you’re running for that long, your feet are bound to get a little upset. I drank less that usual, having discovered during last weekend’s half-marathon that there is such a thing as too much water. I ate fewer blocks, having eaten half a Cliff Bar pre-run. I feel like I got some good fine tuning done.

One of my favorite parts of the run was this biker. Apparently he had seen me when he was heading up the canyon, and then he passed me on his way down and he turned to look at me and stuck his fist in the air. You can picture it; a kind of “you go girl” air-punch. I saw biker dude about a mile later again. He was off to the side of the trail chatting up some other biker. As I ran past, I could see he was trying to talk to me. I pulled a headphone out of one ear to listen to hear him say, “Wow, I cannot believe how far you have run. That was you I saw up near South Fork, right? I am impressed.” That one comment got me through the next ten miles. It’s amazing how a few simple words of praise can do so much.

The last few miles were hard. I was exhausted. It was hot. I forgot to put on sunblock. My water was warm. I just wanted to be done…and then, finally, I saw 18.00 miles and I was done. How I’m going to manage to run 26.2 miles, I still haven’t figured out…but I know I’ll do it, because that’s who I am, that’s how I’m wired.


  1. Freedom 90 6:30 George Michael
  2. Mr. Brightside 3:41 The Killers
  3. Glamorous (Feat. Ludacris) 4:06 Fergie
  4. Witch In The Ditch 3:44 Erasure
  5. what about us 3:57 Brandy
  6. Colors 2:41 Amos Lee
  7. Simply Being Loved 4:21 BT
  8. Dance Dance 5:02 Fall Out Boy
  9. Get Over It 3:16 ok go
  10. Gotta Go My Own Way 3:44 High School Musical 2
  11. Failsafe 2:39 The New Pornographers
  12. Baby Hold On 5:04 Way Dixie Chicks
  13. Senorita 4:34 Justin Timberlake
  14. Porcelain 3:58 Moby
  15. SexyBack 4:02 Justin Timberlake
  16. Hysteria 3:47 Muse
  17. Summer Love 4:15 Justin Timberlake
  18. No One Is to Blame 3:59 Emile Millar
  19. Hot ‘n’ Cold Pussycat 4:11 Basement Jaxx vs.
  20. Sunday Bloody Sunday 4:40 U2
  21. Glamorous (Feat. Ludacris) 4:06 Fergie
  22. Irreplaceable 3:47 Beyoncé
  23. Summer Love 4:15 Justin Timberlake
  24. Breathe Me 4:35 Sia
  25. Clothes Off 3:55 Gym Class Heroes
  26. Workout Plan 2:52 Kanye West
  27. Standing Outside A Broken Phone Boo… 5:39 Primitive Radio Gods
  28. How We Operate 5:28 Gomez
  29. Changes 4:29 Tupac Shakur
  30. Lost In This Moment 3:37 Big & Rich
  31. beautiful love 4:09 The Afters
  32. Senorita 4:34 Justin Timberlake
  33. Gotta Go My Own Way 3:44 High School Musical 2
  34. Chicago 6:12 Sufjan Stevens
  35. Adventures in Solitude 4:18 The New Pornographers
  36. Waiting in Vain 5:40 Annie Lennox
  37. Failsafe 2:39 The New Pornographers
  38. Give It to Me 3:32 Timbaland featuring
  39. Faster Kill Pussycat 3:14 Oakenfold
  40. No Apagues la Luz 3:49 Enrique Iglesias
  41. Open Your Heart 4:13 Madonna
  42. On My Mind 4:10 Kalai
  43. Under Pressure 4:03 Queen & David Bowie
  44. When You Were a Starlight 4:11 Team9 vs. The Killers
  45. Forever 3:51 Live
  46. Glamorous (Feat. Ludacris) 4:06 Fergie
  47. Senorita 4:34 Justin Timberlake
  48. Fields of Gold 3:33 Sting & Edin Karamazov
  49. i didnt steal your boyfriend 3:04 ashlee simpson
  50. The Call 3:26 Backstreet Boys
  51. I Still Remember 4:23 Bloc Party
  52. My Console 4:17 Eiffel 65
  53. Video 4:15 India Arie
  54. Time 4:08 Chantal Kreviazuk

P.S. I’ve discovered that I would rather listen to a song that I’m “in the mood for” three times, than put on a different one, that I’m not loving as much, just for variety. I’m the girl who can listen to the same song 500 times in a row and not get sick of it.

8 thoughts on “18 miles…with the end in sight

  1. What a great post about the conversation in your head to do the run. I have had those thoughts but you captured them perfectly. And, LOVE the playlist!

  2. The running world is so different from the rest of the world. Well, fitness world, really. It’s highly possible said guy was hitting on me, but I just don’t worry about those things…and I rather like the encouragement. I can totally see what you mean, though.

  3. So often I want to give a fellow runner or even a walker a “fist pump/attawaytogo-type of greeting”. But you know, I NEVER do because I say to myself one of several things:1. She’ll think I’m hittin’ on her2. He’ll think I’m hittin’ on him (ugh)3. He or She will think I’m a nut My 1.26 cents worth…good stuff per usual

  4. awesome chloe! so so awesome! i’m jealous of your beautiful running route.and i’m SO like you- i can listen to the same song (and often do) over and over and over and never tire of it.

  5. Good for you! I loved that last thing you said about “that’s who I am” I almost got a little choked up (sorry to be cheesy) but I think it’s great that you have such drive and determination. You can definitely run 26 miles if you can do 18! I wish that good little voice would come to my house. I only seem to hear the other voice, you know, the one that made you push the snooze button 10 times?

  6. Me too, I can listen to Nicole Nordemans’s Brave or Hillsong’s His love for an entire run! I love reading about your running blogs, it’s just the encouragement I need to run my first half on the 16th, I haven’t exceeded 10 miles, I was going to do 12 the other day but I didn’t. If I don’t do 12 by the 16th, I’m just going to go out there and wing it. My friend is running also and she wants us to run 8 minutes and then walk for 2 minutes the entire race. I never stop. I don’t think my body will continue if I stop for one second. She is an expert at marathons and she promises me I’ll finish. We’ll see how that works.I laughed at Justin not driving 18 miles to meet someone for lunch, that was hilarious. Why did you take the ibuprofen (sorry for all the questions, I really don’t know what to expect) does it help?

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