Saturday, August 28, 2010

Marathon Training - 18 Miles

Hope everyone is having a nice Saturday, we all know what I did today. Just like last week, everyone had 18 miles on the schedule today, me included this week.

Today I was starting at 4:30am as opposed to by typical 5a. Due to a monsoon we have had the last few days, the weather was wonderful and then sun never came out, but it was so nice to be done nice and early and have a full day ahead of me.

As I was getting ready to head out and run, I found myself today more than ever wishing I had a training partner. 18 miles seemed so long and tedious especially all in the dark with no music and no distractions. John was nice enough to be up with me at 4am, and offered up a suggestion, 3x6=18. As repepitive as it would be, I would do 3 mile loops, I actually really don't mind doing this, it really lets me focus on just that one loop, and not get so overwhelmed by the huge number off miles I am counting down. Also I had no desire to go out with camelbak, ipod, gu, phone, etc that would be required for a 15+ mile run.

The first 6 miles absolutely flew by, before I knew it I was back at the car to refil my water/gatorade and take 1/2 of a gu. I planned to do the first 6 easy, but they were a tad faster than my normal easy miles I think because I was really only focusing on those 6 miles, this ended up being beautifully strategic for what could have otherwise been a very long and challenging run.

Mile 1-  9:55
Mile 2-  9:48
Mile 3-  9:52
Mile 4-  9:45
Mile 5-  9:41
Mile 6-  9:36

After what was a super quick refueling, I was back out, and on a mission to hit the next 6 miles at goal pace. I have really been shooting for 9:30-9:40 range for goal pace miles, but I since I had already seen some of that in the first 6 miles I tried to push a few a little harder than that. For some reason, my goal pace miles did not come easily and I felt like I had to fight for those splits today which was a tad discouraging, but to be honest, having my average pace for the whole run within my goal pace range keeps me happy.

Mile 7-  9:38
Mile 8-  9:29
Mile 9-  9:33
Mile 10-  9:21
Mile 11-  9:25
Mile 12-  9:23

6 Miles at/under goal pace done, and I felt pretty good with 6 still to go, I wanted to try to get in at least 2-3 more in that range as well. I did one more refuel with more Gatorade, the other half of my gu, and a dry shirt, just because the heat is fading, doesn't mean the humidity is. When I first started back out I was stiff and slow in the first mile, what else is new. I got back into my groove at some point, but lost it again when my left foot pain returned during mile 16. I was able to finish respectably and not even close to as stiff/sore/tired as I was after 17 last week.

Mile 13-  9:48
Mile 14-  9:42
Mile 15-  9:37
Mile 16-  9:33
Mile 17-  9:35
Mile 18-  9:27

18 Miles- 2:53:08, 9:37 average pace

18 miles went well, I always feel like the 2nd long run of a step up goes better than the first. I was pleased that 18 miles felt so comfortable, and I actually felt I could have done 8 more after if I needed to. Hopefully 3 more really long runs and I will be ready, or as ready as you can really be. Next week is a step back week, and after a mentally and physically tired week, I am ready for it.


  1. 18 miles at 430?! on a saturday?! that's ridiculously awesome.

    enjoy the step back week. it sounds like it's coming at just the right time!

  2. What a great run!! You should be super proud of yourself!! What's your new goal marathon pace. If you're averaging in the 9:30's on 18 milers, maybe you should shoot for 9:10-9:15 for the race!

    Have a great weekend!

  3. How awesome are you?! I've never trained for a marathon (I think I'm good with the halfs!)so 18 miles is such an accomplishment!!!