5 Obstacles to my 20-mile Run

  1. Two words – Snooze Button.
  2. Procrastination that added a good 1/2 hour to my “get ready” routine. Started my run 1 hour late!
  3. Hills this Flatlander is not used to!
  4. It’s hard to keep up the pace when you’re busy looking at the ground for tree roots and large rocks
  5. Check out time is 12:00pm. I mean sure, I could’ve gone another 7 miles and skipped the shower, but for a 10+ hour card ride that’s just not very nice.

Today I had high hopes. Today I was going to go for my last 20-miler in preparation for the Illinois Marathon, which is at the end of this month. It was a dicey decision, to complete a long run like that while on vacation. So much so that I procrastinated with finding a location for that run until Friday night. See that’s what I do when I am nervous about or dreading something; I procrastinate. The normal me plans the heck out of everything.

The location: Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. The word “mountain” in the name really should have given me a heads up that this would not be my typical long run, but I was caught up in the prospect of beautiful scenery on our last day here.


Where it all went down

I dozed a little after my 6:00am alarm and procrastinated while getting ready. Did I really want to run in the woods hundreds of miles from home by myself? We were staying in Marietta, GA so it was only a short 10 minute drive over to the park. The visitor center was open despite Google Map’s warning that they didn’t open until 9:00am and I was ready to go by 8:00am – an hour later than planned.

Dig the glasses? I forgot mine so it was these or my 3yo's Ariel sunglasses. It was a difficult decision.

Dig the glasses? I forgot mine so it was these or my 3yo’s Ariel sunglasses. It was a difficult decision.

I started out on the pavement “trail” – Mooney Creek Trail – that winds around the park and entered the true trail about 1-1.5 miles in. The pace was slooooww even for a long run but I have to give myself credit – this was a technical trail in many areas, something that I’m really not used to. My normal State Park runs are crushed gravel with some pavement. This trail was some crushed rock, mulch, and plenty of tree roots and large rocks with some tight switchbacks and lots of hills thrown in.


That said, it was BEAUTIFUL! About 2 miles in I realized that with the late start and the difficulty of the run, 20 miles wasn’t going to happen. I needed to be back at the hotel by 11 to shower before we headed back on the road. I decided to make the best of it and get as far as I could by about 10:30 and just enjoy the run. I stopped often to take pictures and am glad I got to do some sightseeing while getting my run in!


I ended with 13.1 (figured if not 20, then at least I can get a half marathon!).

Challenges: My run club is doing a Guys v. Gals miles challenge and on day 2 the gals are already racking it up! woot!  Unfortunately I didn’t run yesterday but I did my part today and there may be another 20 mile attempt next week.   And drumroll please….


I hit 400 miles!  Well, 408.64 actually – which if I can keep up should bring me to about 1600 or so for the year.  Not quite the 2,016 miles I’m aiming for but who knows?  Maybe I’ll get an ultra runner bug or something later this year 😉




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