Marathon Training - 16 Miles

I was apprehensive going into this morning's run. I had been bumming all week about the Rock 'n' Roll Providence Half Marathon results and had no idea how today's 16-mile run was going to go ... ESPECIALLY since it would be my farthest run since completing a marathon (with a lot of walking) in 2006. We had a nice low-key evening in last night. Now that we have a couch we can just veg out again - it's been so long. :) I wanted to get out and hit the Charles River running path early so I had to set a motivating alarm setting:

Yup! Those definitely worked...

I leaped out of bed by 5:30 and got all of my stuff ready. It was going to be a training run in more ways than one. I was planning on testing out some new running accessories and trying some current accessories in different locations.

1) Sunglasses

2) New Snuggbud earbuds

3) My water belt ... without leaking

4) My new moving comfort shorts

5) Nuun hydration post-run

I got to my usual parking space near the Charles and was ready to get started by 6:20. My goal was to finish the 16 miles under 2 hours and 30 minutes and by 9am.

The only thing I REALLY wanted to do this morning was survive the 16 miles. ;)

I set out at a pretty slow pace (9:30ish min/mile pace) and knew I wanted to be closer to 9 min/mile. I didn't have any specific goals, but I wanted to work on getting in a rhythm and rocking one pace throughout the run ... which is what most people do in the marathon.

The weather was perfect and the path was close to empty - both in my favor.

I did notice that around Mile 4 that my legs seemed to wake up an come alive!

I was cruising right along and before I knew it I was over halfway through the run. Sweet - it's all downhill from there, right?

Well, once I got to Mile 10 my legs started to feel a little heavy (not sure if it was from the swim the day before or they were just tired), but I pushed through. I just kept telling myself you did 13.1 last week, you got this.

Plus, I always run on a loop so no matter what I need to finish to get back to my car. Good planning, right? :)

At Mile 12, I was getting a pain in my left foot - it was like the nail on my toe was getting squished. So I stopped to investigate and everything looked fine so I soldiered on.

By Mile 14, my head was getting the best of me - knowing that I was so close to the finish. It took a lot of self-coaching to make it through the final 2 miles.

Since I run the Charles all the time, I knew I had to change my route for the final 2 miles to avoid seeing my car prior to Mile 16 and just stopping. ;)

Once I saw Mile 15 on my Runkeeper, I tried to pull it into a new gear and finish strong. It was really reassuring to know I still had some gas in the tank after completing 16 miles.

I caught the Runkeeper distance note totally on accident!

I was wicked happy with the results today!!! All of my running accessories worked like they were supposed to. I was FINALLY able to run comfortably in a pair of shorts - YAY!

And if I ran the full marathon at a 9:04 clip, I would finish in 3:57:37 - I'd take that in a heartbeat.

I was so excited I even asked a stranger to take my pic ;)

Yet again I proved to myself that I am stronger than I think I am ... and I am DAMN proud!!