My First 20-Miler

Hi, running family,

I had my longest training run to date on Saturday, November 15. I went to go meet my fabulous running group, the Smyrna Clayton Running Club, at 7:30 a.m. about twenty minutes away from where I live in Delaware to do as much of the twenty miles as possible before heading home to finish up my miles. I got up around 6:50 a.m., since I knew I’d have to just throw on my running clothes, grab my gear that I packed the night before, and hit the road.

For long runs, I use my cheap hydration pack that I got at Target with a 70-ounce Camelbak bladder.  I stick a plastic baggie in with the bladder that contains my house key, my driver’s license, and Gu energy gels or Cliff Shot Bloks. I also of course pack some PlowOn Gum instead of drinking coffee first. You can use code “runbeckyrun” for FREE shipping!

For this particular run, I tried a new Cliff Shot in Razz flavor, which reminded me for some reason of Entenmann’s Raspberry Danish Twist. I also had a Chocolate Outrage Gu, and the Citrus and Black Cherry flavors of the Cliff Shot Bloks. I typically stick to Gu gels only, but I ran out of my usual supply, and Dick’s Sporting Goods at my local mall doesn’t carry a ton of variety.

As I gathered my stuff, I noticed a cute note that my husband left me (points, points!):

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The Smyrna Clayton Running Club meets each Saturday at one of three main locations. I, of course in my stupidity, went to the wrong darn location that morning! I don’t like to hold the group up, so I messaged our fearless leader with my mistake and told her that I wouldn’t make it this week. There’s a paved running trail near The Young Bean Coffee Shop in Clayton, DE that’s about a 3.5-mile loop. You run past a school, past a pasture with cows, over a little bridge, and along a small road at one point. I run a bit farther than the trail goes, since there’s a port-a-potty near a local park called Smyrna Municipal Park that I like to stop at.

I did my first fourteen miles in this area, just going up and down the path. Along the way, I took a few pictures, because they stood out to me.

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[This photo show contaminated land right next to the road I ran on for a bit.]2

[This photo shows an odd metal statue/figure along the trail.]

I’m glad I was on that particular trail that morning, because I found a woman’s car keys and was able to return them to her. I also saw a few white cows in the pasture, which I thought was wicked neat. By the time I stopped to take a picture of them, they had gone back into the barn though, boo. The Angry Toddler would’ve liked that picture! Overall, the first fourteen-miler was uneventful. I walked briskly while I took my fuel or water, listened to The Running Lifestyle Podcast along the way, and generally enjoyed myself despite the wicked wind.

The reason I split up my run into two segments was simple—I wasn’t sure that my cell phone battery had enough life in it. Previously, it had died around Mile 15.5, so I wanted to charge it during my ride back home. Fourteen miles seemed like a good spot to stop, since doing a 10K at home to finish up didn’t sound impossible.

When I got home, I quickly took a bathroom break and got back out there. This time, I ran around my neighborhood and another about a mile away from our house. Nothing eventful happened there, aside from seeing an old woman in curlers raking her leaves in bare feet. That was interesting to say the least.

I finished in 3:48:24 with an 11:25-minute pace, which I’m fine with. I’m not a fast runner, and I’d rather enjoy my runs and not get injured.

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