Yesterday I ran 13.1 miles. Half the distance of what I’ll run this coming Saturday at the Monumental.
I didn’t do a long run last weekend because the Tuesday 20 mile stroller run kind of threw everything off. My legs were still
a little tired Saturday and I figured I’d chill instead of put long miles on my tired legs two weeks before the marathon. So Glenn and I just did 7 that day and I never made time during the week to knock out a longish run.
So this weekend, one week out, I knew I needed to do anywhere between 10-14. (There has been no scientific or specific plan here. Glenn cringes just thinking about the sporadic, random plan or lack there of a plan I’ve been doing the past 11 weeks) I plan what I am going to run day by day always knowing that I’ll do a long on Saturdays or whenever I can fit them in for that matter. (apparently that sometimes ends up being a Tuesday)
Before I headed out, I thought I’d do 12, but early on in the run I decided to do 13.1. Half the distance. No real significance there, just wanted to tackle half. Ideally, I’d love to PR, but like I’ve said before, I absolutely don’t have the training in to realistically do that (unless I’m feeling amazing on Saturday).
I do think I can run the marathon around 8 minute pace and see how I feel around mile 16 or so. I SHOULD have probably ran my 13 around 8:30 pace, instead of my projected race pace, but I felt comfortable at 8 minutes and decided to stick to that. (the dang watch kept me obsessing!). My pace varied between 7:52 for my fastest split and 8:15 for my slowest, but for the most part I kept it pretty controlled and even and ended up with an average split of 8:03.
I think I should be happy to keep that pace for 26.2 on Saturday, and I know my 26.2 self all too well.
This is how things could play out:
- Go out around 8 min mile.
Speed up too soon– Make sure I DON’T speed up too soon.
- Freak out around mile 4-5 thinking what the hell am I doing. (this happens every single marathon for me) I think- Why did I really chose to wake up at an insane hour on a Saturday to put myself through 26 miles? My normal friends are sleeping, or enjoying breakfast in their jammies.
- Start feeling great around miles 8-14 – this is where I ALWAYS speed up and run way too fast to even think about having a negative split. I won’t do that on Saturday. I won’t let it happen.
- Make it to Mile 16. Hello Mile 16. Mile 16 is a friend because you’ve made it pretty far, but man those last 10 miles are nothing like the first 10. As soon as you cross 16- you are technically in single digits, less than 10… almost.
- Mental battles are fair game anytime after the beautiful mile 16. We hope and pray they don’t happen until way after mile 20. But you just never know. I won’t let them creep in this early on Saturday. No way.
- Miles 23-26, just keep running. Head down. Push. It hurts. Go anyway. Never Walk. I never have, I never will. (although I did quite the shuffle during Chicago, 2010)
- The whole race – remind myself how amazing the finish of ANY marathon is, not matter how fast or slow, how great or terrible you feel during the race. Finishing a marathon is makes you feel strong, and when you feel strong, life is just better.