The first 18-miler of our marathon training plan was this past weekend and was the longest run I would complete since the MDI Marathon in October of 2013. I was scheduled to work during the morning on Saturday when we usually do our long run, so Jen and I would have to do this run apart. She had an insanely great run and did all 18 miles on the treadmill. Amazing! I scheduled my run for Monday and I was actually really looking forward to it.
|Don't I look excited?|
One great thing about having a training partner to go on long runs with is you have someone to talk to which makes the time and miles go by a lot quicker than when running alone. I don't run with music, mostly because I can't help but run with the pace of the song and find it distracting. I suppose the distraction is one reason that people run with music, but I rather be a little more in tune to how I'm feeling and breathing than having my brain struggle with matching my pace to a song. I did download some podcasts to my phone so I could have someone "talking" to me to pass the time.
It was pretty busy at work in Sunday night and that left my legs feeling a bit dead feeling come Monday morning, but I was still positive that this would be a good run. The sun was shining and although the temperature was still in the teens, it was going to warm up to the 40s throughout the day.
|Two of my favorites - Spandits! and Mizuno Wave Rider 18s|
I headed to the bike path where I would be breaking the run into three six-mile out-and-back legs. The path is only 2.63 miles long, so I had to run past the trailhead for a bit (which also added on another little hill) to reach 3 miles one way.
I started without my headphones, wanting instead just to warm up and enjoy the run. There were a few icy spots where the snow along the sides had melted, run on to the path and then froze overnight, but overall it wasn't too terrible.
|A few more days like this, the river will no longer be frozen!|
My hope was to keep the pace in the mid-9s and if I felt able, run the last 3 faster. I kept with my fueling plan of a GU every 5 miles and would stop at the end of each leg to grab some water out of the car. I could certainly feel my energy lagging in the miles leading up to miles 5, 10, and 15 and this was evident when analyzing my paces after. I also practiced taking on fuel while running and it usually takes me a good .75 miles to finish one. I did get really thirsty after my third GU, but mostly because I was a full three miles from my car at that point. I had run with a water bottle in my hand the week prior for 16 miles, but I really hate carrying something in my hands. I suppose it is time to get out my Camelbak.
My legs really started hurting around mile 14, but once I reached that point I could really start counting down the miles. Once I reached 14, the next step meant I only had 3+ miles to go. At mile 15, I got to turn around one last time and then had 2+ miles to go.
I decided not to listen to anything on the second leg and even the third. I figured that I got this far without it, I didn't want to mess around with headphones and just focused on getting the run done. I really don't know what I thought about for nearly 3 hours, but I got through it and not once, even when my legs were close to giving out, did I not want to be out there. I did wonder what the walkers thought of the crazy girl in bright tights running back and forth umpteen times!
|Take Me Away Spandits! 3/4 tights just shout spring!|
With the exception of mile 16 when I had to stop to use the bathroom along the route, I kept all the miles under a 10 minute pace...just where I was trying to be.
My only "injury" occurred at 17.75 miles in. Apparently I had blister forming between my big and second toes on my left foot. For whatever reason, I occasionally get a blister in this same spot. Anyway, with a quarter mile to go, it decided to pop (sorry, gross) and was crazy painful. I was sure I was gushing blood. When I finally took off my sock it wasn't too bad, but I actually have two small blisters on top of the bigger blister. Crazy. I'm just hoping that this doesn't happen during the marathon, because it felt like I had stepped on a nail or something!
My quads are a little sore today, but I did an easy 7.5 miles on the bike this morning to get them moving. I also wore some awesome new compression socks all day yesterday that were delivered just as I got home from the run. I'll be doing a full length review on those in a bit.
I've got the Shamrock Sprint 5K in Bath coming up this Saturday. I'm not thinking PR at all, but it will be fun to get dressed up for this St. Patrick's Day themed race. I also don't want to go all out because I will still need to get a 16-miler in next weekend for a drop down week before Jen and I tackle our first 20-miler of this training cycle.