2. But two weeks before your first marathon when your longest run so far is 17 miles, it is not okay to SKIP the run entirely.
3. Which means your only option is to go to the gym and YES, even the IDEA of running 20 miles on the treadmill is gross, but it is YOUR ONLY OPTION and also you already ATE AN ENERGY GEL so if you don't go you will just have syrup sitting in your stomach and it wasn't even particularly good syrup so whatever, just go to the gym.
4. It is a freaking fantastic idea to break that 20-mile run up into four five-mile segments. You are kind of a genius for thinking of this, especially since the treadmill FOR WHATEVER REASON only goes to 99 minutes. Not that you really think it's illogical on principle because really nobody should ever be running on a treadmill for more than an hour but because it is stupid to pick a cut-off point BECAUSE THE DISPLAY CAN'T HANDLE THREE DIGITS.
5. Once you are over the rage of the treadmill's lack of logic, you will realize it's a good idea, also, to use the breaks between each five-mile segment to run to the bathroom and refill your water bottle and stretch your legs.
6. If you can find Titanic on TV while you are running 20 miles on the treadmill, it is a nice distraction, particularly if you happen to turn it on at the exact moment the ship hits the iceberg because then for the rest of your run you can just keep thinking, "Well my legs hurt, but at least I'm not dying on the Titanic."
7. Golden Girls are also nice.
8. Energy gels are not as disgusting as you think. They are not GOOD; you probably won't want to snack on them in your spare time but they are actually easier to get down than the much-tastier Gu Chomps because there is no chewing involved. And when you are a person who has trouble walking without falling, chewing and running is a hazard. Swallowing and running, though, you can probably handle. Downside: opening a gel packet with your teeth while running is a similar hazard so it may all be a crapshoot.
9. Nuun is amazing.
10. Twenty miles is not awful, really, except for the leg pain, and if your legs were already hurting thanks to a 12-mile trail run two days before, then it's a pretty safe bet the leg pain isn't all the 20-miler's fault.
11. If you can find a terrible, terrible song about your beloved football team, it'll probably get you through those last two miles just fine.
Thank you, Pop Evil, for existing, I am not sure how I ever lived without you.
12. When you finish 20 miles with not terrible pain and no lack of energy and a sizable boost in confidence, it is more than okay to think that you're a little bit awesome and that your marathon will be fun.
Because I feel pretty awesome.
And I think my marathon WILL be fun. :)
My legs aren't so sure but I'll convince them before next weekend.