Longest Run of my Life (23.1 miles)

By Colleen Yorke
Navigational Artwork and Directions by Colleen Yorke, © 2015.
Beverly Hills, CA.
It often seems easier to relocate to the other side of the world than it is to put one foot in front of the other for more than five miles. As with a lot of things in life, it often takes a major event to shake things up. Whatever it is that got us into running, the only time we should look back is to see how far we have come. Training for a marathon presents us with diverse challenges - how to fuel, how to maintain a steady pace, how to run...? Extreme temperatures, cracked and crowded pavements, and limited time between work and workouts are testing obstacles for any beginning long-distance runner. 
Today, as my alarm buzzed at 4:44 am and I had gone to bed three hours earlier, I was just not feeling it. True, it seemed like a nice day for a run, but something more in the 3-5 miles' range with a foamed latte afterwards. But, as race day is only days away, and being the novice to long distance racing that I am, it seemed critical that I tried to go for an ultra long run. 3:15 hours later, I completed the longest run of my life, 23.1 miles from downtown Los Angeles to Beverly Hills and back. I hit a brief moment of weakness around the 18th mile, but familiarity with the roads (and knowing that five more miles was not that much further to run) motivated me to keep pushing until finish. My knees feel a little tight now, but they do not hurt. I feel proud and relieved. From here onwards, the route is still undetermined, but I am certain, it will be an adventure!