On Sunday, I ran 17 miles as part of my marathon training plan. Only an 18 mile training run and a 20 mile training run left to go (and a step back week or two – when did 14 miles stop feeling so tough?).
I have to admit, 20 miles scares me, and while I know I’ll get through it, that last 10k on race day is going to be rough.
This run, however, went fairly well. Betsy and Charlie joined me for the first 3+ miles, which is always fun and Charlie managed to not eat any squirrels, which is also good.
I still haven’t managed to find the end of the trail I run. I pass a map and read it every time, but there’s one point where I have to turn onto a road and then pick up the trail again and I can never figure it out. It doesn’t matter, I’m just running an out and back, but I just find it funny that I get lost on a straight trail.
At one point, I passed at least ten deer grazing by the side of the trail. This deer got very close to the trail and didn’t seem to care that I was there.
The first 9 miles of this run were pretty easy, surprisingly, and I felt like I was flying through them, though I was at an appropriate pace (maybe even a bit too slow). The last mile was rough and the last half mile was exceptionally rough, but I kept to my intervals, so I guess it couldn’t have been that bad.
That’s right. 4 hours and 1 minute to run 17 miles. This is the time when I’m jealous of 4 hour marathoners. Clearly, I will be out there for another 2-3 hours on marathon morning.
My goal on marathon day is just to finish. My secondary goal is to finish strong. If I were to set a dream finishing time, it would be to run under 6:30. Based on my training, it’s feasible, but I’m trying to not think about it. I don’t know what my body’s going to do in those last miles. But it’s nice to know that my training is going well enough to get me there at this point.
Someone asked me recently how I fuel for these runs. On Sunday, I ate a Clif Bar and drank about 8 ounces of Gatorade (not G2) an hour or so before I headed out. I carried Gu with me and ate a packet about every 45 minutes, though I skipped the last one (Gu at 0:45, 1:30, 2:15, 3:00, but I didn’t feel like I needed one at 3:45 since I was so close to finishing). That means I’ll carry 7 or 8 on race day. Which seems like a lot. But it works for me.
A friend once commented that she didn’t understand why people carried so many gels on races and that people didn’t need that much fuel. I gel every 45 minutes as per the instructions on the package. I have tried to stretch it to an hour and it just doesn’t go well for me. So I know what my body needs. I’m not sure I’ll be able to stomach 7 or 8 gels, but we’ll see. There should also be bananas on the race course, which is also an option. I’m just going to go with how I feel.
I can’t believe the race is coming up so soon. I’m still not sure it’s sunk in that I’m going to be running a marathon. That’s just crazy talk, after all.