Marathon Training - Week 7: 18 miles and still smiling

Last Saturday, 2/14/2015, our long run was 17 miles and it was one of the worst runs of my life (Read more here...). It ended up being a great learning experience and helped me prepare for this week's long run of 18 miles. 

This weekend, our group training run was canceled. I was actually kind of relieved because it was supposed to rain all day Saturday and it was still quite icy out. There was no way I was going to miss this week’s long run.  

My only other option was to run on the treadmill. Yep. 18 miles. On a treadmill. Inclines included.

It was tough, and I really looked forward to water breaks, but I did it and I felt GREAT!! So much better than last week, in fact, I finished smiling!

I finished in 2:49, with an average pace of 9'25", versus 17 miles in 2:45. I know running on a treadmill and running outside are much different, but my celebration here is for getting through 18 miles without being a Negative Nancy, without feeling like my legs were made of cement, and without seriously questioning whether or not I could do it.

 

Here are the reasons, I think, this week’s long run was so much better:

  1. My husband Chris was there for the whole time, a little over 3 hours, filling our water bottles, delivering Picky bars, and checking up on us. How did I ever get so lucky to have a husband that is EXCITED to spend a Saturday morning supporting my conquest to run 18 miles?
  2. My marathon-training buddy, Stephanie, was up for the challenge and we completed the run together! This is the first marathon for the both of us, so we are able to share our anxieties over these longer runs. Knowing I wasn’t the only one who was bored out of my mind and wasn’t alone in the struggle to finish the last two miles, made a GIANT difference. (Also, Stephanie did the whole thing WITHOUT HEADPHONES/MUSIC. I have no clue how she did that.)
  3. Speaking of headphones, my playlist was pretty freakin’ good. (Always looking for good running songs though, if you think of one, leave me a comment!!)
  4. I added on mileage during the week, about ten miles to be exact. I did a 9 mile run the day before our 18 miler and I think it was super beneficial.
  5. I started eating at mile 5, just about ¼ of a Picky Bar. I think by mile 10 I had eaten a whole bar.
  6. I drank when I felt thirsty. This is a no-brainer.
  7. I ate A LOT more during the week. This one is also a no-brainer.
  8. I had 1 ½ peanut butter chocolate chip cookies when I woke up Saturday morning. This is probably the real reason it went so well... (JK)
All of It - Week 7 - 18 miles and smiling

Also, its official. I am registered for the Country Music Marathon on April 25th. 

Do you have any marathon training tips or stories to share? I'd LOVE to hear them! Leave me a comment!