BQ or Bust Part 2
For the next 20 weeks, I was determined to follow my race plan from Runner’s World. A sense of passion to become the best version of myself took over. With every week, I could feel myself getting stronger and mentally prepared for race day. My weekly schedule consisted of running five days a week, strength training, and one rest day.
The weeks ticked on and I finally reached my maximum weekly mileage of 42. The week right after my peak week, I set out for my 22-mile run. Like all training long runs, the morning was filled with pre-long run jitters. I made my oatmeal with banana and coconut flakes. I put anti-blister cream in between my toes. I filled up my hydration pack with Performance by Nuun Hydration. While laying on my carpet stretching my legs, I tried to convince myself to get out the door. “22 miles,” I thought to myself, “that’s all you have to do...” Then like that, as if 22 miles wasn’t a big deal at all, I strapped my hydration pack on and headed out the front door.
The following 22 miles were a journey. I was a girl on a mission to witness San Francisco waking up. Slowly more and more runners lined the paths in the Outer Sunset. With gratitude, I said “Good Morning” to each and every one I passed. If they were running in front of me, I’d pretend to zap their energy as I surged on by. Of course, I would casually wave “Good Morning” but their energy was mine for the taking..
After mile 11 I quickly stopped to eat my Gu Stroopwafel. I contemplated running back home knowing I was halfway done. Just halfway! But then I thought about the fellow women I followed on Instagram. Women I admired and looked up to. I wanted to feel what I had seen in their photographs having accomplished 20 plus mile training runs. Images of what strength look liked. Images of persistence. With that in mind, I trekked on my journey to complete 22 miles.
At mile 20, I started running back to my apartment through Golden Gate Park. I could feel my legs getting heavy but my mind stayed strong. “Just hold on,” I thought to myself, “You are capable. You are strong. You got this.” I was determined. I ran with everything I had left in me. As I approached the Great Highway, I had less than a mile left till my finish and I charged toward it with every step. Even better, a huge smile took over my face. I was freaking doing it! I was running the last mile in 7:38 and I felt like a freaking rock star!
A wave of emotions flooded my head. My eyes swelled up with tears and I cried into my hands. I had freaking did it! I was on the ultimate runner's high accomplishing what I had set out to do. To be honest, I wish I kept the vlog I had recorded post-run. If you would have watched it you probably thought I had won the marathon or something. This particular training run was the just the right amount of confidence I needed to keep believing. With only 4 weeks left till the 2017 San Francisco Marathon, I knew I could really Boston Qualify!