Two years ago, I reached mile seventeen before I had to start walking. I jogged then walked before fighting through the final mile where Jenny would not let me walk at all. Last year, it was much worse as I reached mile twelve and started to walk. The final eight miles were tough. In both years, I was running about one minute slower than I was today. I was worried, but I kept trying to tell myself that because of Jenna's coaching, I am much better prepared. I kept feeling strong. I kept trying to dig deeper. We had reached mile eighteen. Suddenly, my left calf gave me problems. I wanted to slow down and shake it out. Jenny would not let me. No walking! I had trained to hard to walk. I pressed on. The more we moved, the closer we were to the end. Traditionally, this is when I would be fading yet here I was still romping. We entered the final mile. Jenny wanted me to push like I had not done before. I wanted to do so too. I kept telling myself, I can do this. Jenna has given me the tools to achieve this. This is a training run. No pain. I kept digging. Jenny informed me of the distance left. I knew this was my best performance in any 20 miler and I had to finish strong. That is what Jenna had taught me. I was doing it. As we reached the final hundred meters which were uphill, I pressed on and crossed the finish line. I had done it. I had run the entire twenty miles for the first time ever. I had not faded. I had run the fastest mile of the day in my final mile of the day. I was so proud of myself.
Thank you Andrew Murray for guiding me the first half and Jenny Pfaff for taking me the second half. I love this trend of getting faster in races. I love negative splitting these long runs. Thank you Jenna Parker for helping me achieve those.