Last weekend's long run (18 miles) was an interesting one, but I had great company the whole way, and for that I'm so thankful! Miss Heidi joined me for the first 3 miles, I did a lap (2.5 miles) with Kat (it was great catching up with her), 9 miles with Scott (he's a life saver, that one), and I wrapped up the last 3.5 miles with Miss Heidi (she got a workout on Saturday, for sure). A special thank you to Kat and Scott (and you, too, Heidi, even though you can't read). (I must confess something... that last set with Heidi... I didn't run it - I didn't even jog it - but I DID it by walking, and I'm okay with that.)
So, I said it was an "interesting one" because it was the first long run that really tested my dedication to this marathon training. I thought I'd have hit that wall so much sooner, and I'm happy that I held out as long as I did: I made it to just 3 weeks out from the race before I found myself starting to waver! I think this is largely due to my being of the very dedicated variety. When I dedicate myself to something, I put a plan together, and I attack it. I just do it. I like working through processes, working step-by-step (no pun intended here). So, when I decided to do this marathon, I put a training plan together, and have been executing it. Sure, the earlier portion of the training was a little flimsy, but for the last 2 months I've been very focused. In only 1 week of the last 6 have I deviated more than 3 miles from the plan for my long runs.
Anyway, I mention all of this to say that despite my tendency to be seemingly excessively dedicated, it was during this run that I found myself bouncing back and forth between doing my full 18 miles or not. It was during this run that I found myself questioning my decision to run a marathon. "Why am I sacrificing 3-5 hours of my Saturday mornings to move my body across this earth? Why am I doing this, again?"
It was during miles 12-16 that really challenged my stamina. It was a challenge to my stamina both mentally and physically, but, honestly, it's so much more mental than physical. If I don't push myself, then, physically (assuming proper hydration and energy supplements), I feel like I could run like Forest: just run and run and run. But it's a head game, you see: "sure, you can run all these miles, but will you?" It's like there's a devil sneaking up behind you when you're vulnerable, and it whispers all sorts of reasons as to why you should just quit now, and, if you do quit, if you let the devil win, then you are forced to watch your potential success float away on a cloud of guilt disguised as relief. It's the regret of having sold yourself short.
Upon reflection, and even during the run, it was quite funny to see myself ping-ponging in my determination to complete the run. I'm sure Scott got a kick out of it, listening to me banter with myself, going from "this is going to be the last lap; I'm done after this one" to "no, I really need to do the full 18 miles. I really do want to do them. I'm gonna do them" and back again to "want to do just one more lap after this, then call it a wrap?" to the right decision of "okay, I'm going to do these miles - all of them. I want this". Yes, I walked the last 3 or so miles, but I did all 18 that day. And, ya know what? I'm really proud of myself: I did 18 miles - my longest distance ran to date. That's kind of impressive, isn't it?
Something I realized over the weekend: Lake Baldwin and I, we are very well acquainted. We spend a lot of time together. There were only 2 points during the run where I thought, "gosh, I'm sick of this loop," but, really, I love it. I love the scenery, the water, the people out and about with their dogs and/or kids... I'm really happy that I moved from Waterford Lakes to Baldwin Park. I enjoy running in this area of town. I think I would have sipped on some cyanide juice if I had to run so many miles on my Waterford Lakes Town Center Loop!
Oh, my goodness! The Space Coast Marathon is just 3 weeks away!
My next long run is the big one. It's the run where I will peak in my mileage. This Saturday I'll be hoofing it for 20 miles. I'm planning to do an average of 5 miles/hour so I am done within 4 hours. That's being optimistic (it took me 4.5 hours to do last weekends 18 miles - but I putzed around for a good bit of it, too), but if I stick to my plan, I should be just fine. I've already got a Facebook event going to coordinate running buddies, though I have a feeling this one will mostly be myself out there. But that's okay; I like running with just myself.
The run after this weekend will be a tapered run of "just" 10 miles. You know you're a runner when you say "just" 10 miles. Heh. Look at me now, Anderson Highland High School Cross Country Team of 2003-2004! Boom, baby!
10 NOV - 20 miles
17 NOV - 10 miles
24 NOV - rest for day before my first full marathon!
Below you can see a list of previous training updates, upcoming races, and three of my Pinterest boards that you might enjoy.
I just want to say that I am SO thankful that I have been totally injury free during this training. I seriously attribute it to my Brooks shoes. A stellar pair of running shoes (that aren't overused) does so much to ward off injury. Yay for no injuries! Now, pray that it stays that way. = )
Previous Training Updates:
Click here to view the post about my training up to the week before this blog's 18-miler.
Click here to view the post about my training through my first 15-miler.
- Space Coast Marathon - Sunday, 25 November 2012 - 26.2 Mile Run (click here for related blog)
- The Color Run - Sunday, 2 December 2012 - 5K/3.1 Mile Run
- Walt Disney World's Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge - Saturday & Sunday, 12 & 13 January 2013