This morning I woke up knowing that 19 miles awaited me this morning. As I got up, I saw that it was much darker than last week. Of course, we are losing 7 minutes of daylight in the morning each week. I finally started my run about 7:10 AM. This would give Pam a few extra minutes to meet me at my first fueling station. I fuel a little differently during my training than when I run the races. I try to fuel about every 45 to 50 minutes when training.
The weather was nice this morning at least at the start – just a little overcast and about 46 degrees which made for a great first part of the run. My goal was to run at around a 9:00 mile pace. The good news is that I hit that pace for the full run. I felt really good for the first 13 to 14 miles. It was at 15 miles that things started to break down, but I looked at my watch and all looked good. In fact, I was encouraged with my time up to that point. The last couple of miles have some constant uphills, while good for training, killed me today. On the final downhill and in the 18th mile there is a downhill and I ran that timed mile at an 8:33 pace – not bad considering my legs were killing me by that time. My breathing (and lung capacity) have really adapted to these long runs. Hopefully next week my legs will feel better.
I finished 19.32 miles in 2:50:12, which gave me an 8:49 pace. Not too shabby considering this is the first time I’ve run 19 miles in my life. This was a “keep your eye on the prize” kind of run. It was a cool run because at no time did I think of quitting, which has occurred to me in other long runs. I struggled with that when I was in the 12 to 13 mile runs late in the summer and even last week. Pressing on – running with perseverance was the rule of the day. Tomorrow a slow, recovery run awaits.
Tonight, Pam and I booked our hotel room in Richmond…the day is getting closer…I still have some mixed feelings – I know that I will have to trust my training. I’ve always run further than the distance I will race and this will not happen this time around. Next week…20 miles.