What is the best feeling in the world?

Wendy & Me

COMPLETING MY FIRST 20 MILE RUN! I am so ready for Pittsburgh! I still cannot believe I ran 20 miles! Ran the first 1-3 with the MIT Lucky 13’s, which was awesome:

1          12:53
2          12:41
3          12:20
I ran the next 4-9 with Wendy, Duane, Mike, Suzi, Laurel, and Kim. It was great to have the three of us (Wendy, Duane, and Me) running together again! We ran Worthington Hills, which I have not done out of fear since I injured my knee in the summer of 2010 (that’s when it pretty much gave out). I ran the hills smoothly and felt great – I remember being surprised that we were done with the three mile loop as fast as we were. No more fear! At about Mile 7, my sister met up with us on a (insert: very tiny, very pink here) SCOOTER and, um, scooted (?) with me and Duane for the next two miles. Her exact comments per FB, “scooter = WORST IDEA EVER! legs are sore… at least everyone had a good laugh?” It was the funniest few miles of my life – thank you, Mollie! Notice my slow down due to the pure hilarity of the situation!
4          14:21
5          13:55
6          13:48
7          13:33
8          14:44
9          14:26
We met up with my Mom at the trail head and while my sister said she loved me, she could NOT scoot for another 11 miles – I don’t blame her, it looked painful. Mollie, my Mom, and Duane headed back and Wendy, Mike, and I set off for the next 3 or so. It was great having Mike with us – he makes running look so easy! He offered to take our extra gear back at about Mile 12, which was just awesome.
10        12:41
11        12:25
12        12:44
Wendy and I waved goodbye to Mike, filled up our hydration bottles and headed off into the unknown together. I must admit, I was scared, and I think I bitched every single one of those miles from 12 to 15:
Just before Mile 13
12        12:44
13        13:01
14        13:06
15        13:19
With Wendy, I run a lot faster than when I am running by myself. She pushes me to give it my all and reminds me, “The faster you run, the faster you’re done.” At one point I looked at my Garmin and screamed, “Holy HELL, we are running at an 11:40!?!?!?!” Wendy remained calm – as she always does – but my breathing immediately quickened and I found it hard to catch my breath. I really think I started to panic and had trouble catching my breath for a long time after that.
Running long miles is funny – I remember very specific details and then everything else is foggy details. But, certain things I recall with vivid detail: Jeff coming up behind us on a bike and asking us if we were okay somewhere around Miles 12-13, I think he was funny; Hoping I wouldn’t have to run all the way to Komo Park, but I always do; Wendy’s IT band flaring up on that one road; Wendy telling me to stop and GU more than once; Me telling Wendy I was glad she was there; Wendy telling me the same; My big toe throbbing; Stopping at Komo to get water and saying to Wendy, ‘We have no choice but to run back now;’ Wendy telling me I stink; Wendy smelling herself and saying she did too; Me discovering that the salt on my face tastes EXACTLY like table salt. What can I say? I wasn’t exactly in my normal state of thinking!
It’s all about the data after 20 Miles!

The way back from Komo is kind of hazy. I was tired – really tired. I remember thinking Wendy was hurting and I shouldn’t complain that I was tired. We stopped to stretch a few times and I stopped to walk until Wendy told me if I made it to the dock there MIGHT be a banana there for me. I ran. We made it to Antrim at Mile 18.4. There was no banana, but some MIT people were, and I remember because I showed Jeff and Chelsea my Garmin – it was the farthest I had ever run. I remember Jeff giving me a high-five and I remember thinking, “Man, he is tall, but I already knew that.” I remember Chelsea saying I looked good for having run 18 miles and I remember telling her she looked pretty.

16        13:22
17        15:02
18        13:00
Wendy’s blister popped at mile 17.something. I think she actually said she would rather have IT pain. I remember thinking that must really hurt. We stopped and body-glided the blister. The two of us were probably a sight because we were leaning on one another on the trail and Wendy was leaning over her foot wincing. I remember wishing I could do something. A couple of people asked if we were okay – Wendy smiled and said “YES” to each of them. We tried walking – that hurt – we tried running – that hurt less.
Sprinting home!
The last two miles I actually felt pretty good – much better than the last few miles of runs 16 miles and 18 miles. I was trying to keep my pace up with Wendy. I saw my Mom a little past mile 19 and she came running out of the car with a banana. I told her to meet us at the top of the hill. I wanted that banana, but I wanted to finish more.
19        13:31
20        13:45
I ran up the hill – the hill where I previously bonked at Mile 15.45. It was awesome. Wendy pulled me up that hill. I felt like we were both running strong at Mile 19.8something when Wendy said, “Let’s sprint for it.” We did, and it was nothing but exhilarating. It was THE Runner’s High. It was almost spiritual – I think Wendy might have said that, or maybe it was in my head and I thought it.
We hugged, we smiled, and my mom took a picture and gave us a banana. Wendy said, “This was our Pittsburgh.” Yes, it was, Wendy – and I will always remember this run as one of the greatest days of my life! My mom said we have to split is because my sister ate the other one – it was really good. Wendy jump-started my mom’s car and I remember thinking I was already sore. I found a note from Chrissy – the original running partner – on my windshield, which made me smile. I remember thinking I am really going to miss Wendy as she drove away. I called my husband and he said, “What took you so long?” I said, “I ran 20 miles, that’s what took me so long!” I don’t remember what he said next.
I drove home in a trance-like state with what I’m pretty sure was a huge smile on my face! Thank you, Wendy, for running with me!!!
Wendy & Me after 20 Miles!
This morning, I still can’t really believe I ran 20 miles. I used to never run anything. As I sit here, reflecting on the last two years and all the runs I have done – I can’t help but think about the people that helped me get to where I am today. You know who you are, and you know how much you mean to me.
I am reminded, as I look at my inspiration board, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step….” For me, that couldn’t be truer. I started barley half a mile and look where I am today – ready to take the next step after 20 whole miles.
Until the next mile marker,


  1. Sara, I am so proud to know you! You inspire me every day to keep running. I can’t wait to hear about Pittsburgh and see the pictures of you crossing the finish line.

    Way to go!

  2. Great job!

  3. WTG Sara & Wendy!!! You did an awesome job! I love reading recaps like this!

  4. Christina says

    AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!!! I love reading your recaps!!! I can’t imagine how great it must feel to have such a successful 20-miler under your belt. Speaking of what’s under your belt, you’re looking mighty slim, lady. I am so proud of you!!! You are amazing!

  5. This is sooo great! And I have tears in my eyes for you and for all you’ve accomplished. I’m so glad we’ve become friends… I only wish we lived close to one another so I could run alongside you sometime! xo

    PS: I ran 16 this morning (my longest ever) and drew soooo much inspiration over thinking of you with your 20 yesterday!

  6. TutuRunner says


  7. congratulations on such a great run! you are going to rock your marathon!

  8. you did it!! way to go!! very COOL!

  9. WOOHOO!

    I really HATED to find out after I left the group that you all decided to go up into Worthington Hills. Luckily, Jennifer came running up to inform me of that OR I still might be waiting out there for you all!

    I have to say that 20 DID seem easier than my 18.6 a couple weeks ago, but that 18.6 was in Pittsburgh. I had my own issues on Saturday, but it made me mentally stronger. I’m glad that you and Wendy had each other to lean on (literally) for all 20 miles. Boy, I’ll miss Wendy. She does have a way of pushing you when you think you’re done.

    I’ll see you all at Cap City to cheer on our Lucky 13’s!

  10. A.W.E.S.O.M.E!!!! Love to read recaps like this and hear when people hit a mileage PR! Great job!!!

  11. thanks for the kind words on my blog and congrats to you for finishing your first 20 mile run!! isn’t it amazing to see that number?!?

  12. Candice @ I Have Run says

    Pure awesomeness!! It has been way too long since I last ran 20 miles. You have inspired me!! Congrats on an amazing run =)

  13. that is so awesome! congrats

  14. A.W.E.S.O.M.E!!!! Love to read recaps like this and hear when people hit a mileage PR! Great job!!!

  15. Sara, I am so proud to know you! You inspire me every day to keep running. I can’t wait to hear about Pittsburgh and see the pictures of you crossing the finish line.

    Way to go!

  16. TutuRunner says


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