Flashback: My First 20 Miler

Since I’m scheduled to do a 20 miler tomorrow, I was thinking back to the 20 mile run I did during last year’s training.

Two things you need to know:

  1. When I run on the McMullen Creek/Four Mile Creek Greenways, I park at Johnston Road. There’s a path from the parking lot that goes down a hill to where the greenways meet, and Four Mile Creek goes to the left, McMullen Creek to the right. Normally, I try to finish my run before going up the hill to the parking lot.
  2. I’m a Jets fan. (No, I don’t want to talk about how they’re doing this season.)

I decided to run at McMullen Creek/Four Mile Creek for my 20 mile run. I ended up running on Sunday, because I had been out of town for a funeral the previous week, and didn’t get home until Saturday afternoon.

For the most part, it was fairly uneventful, which isn’t a terrible thing for a 20 mile run. The weather was pretty nice, about 55 degrees.

As I was approaching my last mile, I did some math. I would pass the path to the parking lot with about .75 miles left, so if I ran past it to about the 19.60 mark and turned around, I’d just need to go .05 toward the parking lot. Since that path goes uphill (but not right away), I figured that would work.

Then, just before Mile 19.5, I saw a woman walking in the other direction wearing a Rob Gronkowski jersey.

Oh, hell no.

(As a Jets fan, of course I reacted the way I did. But I’d like to think that, at this point, most knowledgeable football fans have a healthy hatred of the Patriots and would have done the exact same thing.)

So I turned around and took off so I could pass her. It didn’t matter that I had already put in over 19 and a half miles. My hatred fueled me. I passed her around the 19.75 mile mark. (No, I didn’t say anything. Even under normal circumstances, I generally try to avoid conflict.)

Of course, the problem with this is that I had turned around early, so I got to the path to the parking lot well before I reached 20 miles. I ended up having to run all the way up the hill and halfway around the parking lot before I finally got to the 20 mile mark.

It was totally worth it.

This year, I’m doing my 20 miler on a Saturday, so I don’t expect any Gronkowski or other NFL jerseys. Maybe I’ll see some college football gear, but I don’t think anything will cause me to speed up like I did last year.