Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Training - Week 8 - Week 6 of Marathon Training - Tuesday - 18 Mile Monster

I did it! Another mental barrier knocked down in my head. I woke up at 4:40 this morning(40 minutes later than I wanted, but still early). I got up to get my run out of the way before the heat kicked in as it was going to be another brutal day of heat and humidity.

I got up and ate 2 multi-grain waffles, a 100 calorie chocolate pretzel snack, some Five Alive juice to wash down my vitamins, BCAA's, and joint pills, and a nice cup of coffee before embarking on this journey. I considered going down to the bike trail along the Mississippi River where I ran my 16 mile run last week, but decided not to due to time. I needed to get back to help with the kids and get them to Vacation Bible School.

Around 5:30 I took off from my house. There is nothing flat about where I live and therefore 18 miles of running is going to force me to tackle hills. It is amazing how much of Bettendorf you can cover when running 18 miles. I started off nice and slow because I did not want to hit a wall later on. I have been doing the following on these long runs and so far it has worked out great:
  • Taking a drink of water every mile
  • Every 5 miles stop and take GU, walking briskly for .05 - .1 of a mile to let it settle
  • Every 4 miles eat 2 Cliff Blocks
I was able to finish the run in 2 hours and 40 minutes which is a 8:55 pace. Nothing to boast about, but I was just glad I completed the task. This was a mental war. At mile 8 I was losing my mental edge and thinking I had 10 more miles I lost my mental power. However, once I hit the 10 mile mark I started to believe.

Surprisingly, my body felt great. Like the last run my knees gave me fits. I think this was due to the hills. I ran down Forest Grove which is a road that I forgot contains like 5 long gradual hills that are not enjoyable on a long run. I actually felt great running on them, but running downhill just destroys my knees.

I was cashed on mile 16 mile. My calves started to cramp and get very tight. I had to refill my water and I drank a ton of water the last two miles to make it.

This was a pivotal run for me. After not getting my goal Saturday night I lost a little of my motivation. I did not feel great running yesterday, so getting out this morning and GETTING IT DONE! was huge for me. I am not sure how I will handle the 20 mile run next week. I don't know about a marathon. There is something about 26.2 miles that just scares me. I know this is probably a common feeling for anyone tackling a marathon for the first time, but as I continue to run longer, the expectation of 26.2 miles is tough. I do know that if I can run the race at this pace I will break my goal of running under 4 hours.

Mental Toughness: Half Full or Half Empty?
The best thing about this is once again proving how strong we actually are when we leave the self doubt behind. I continue to be amazed at this. I had some miles in the run today where I was moving at a good clip for me on a long run:

Mile 10: 8:27
Mile 12: 8:13
Mile 15: 8:20

I don't feel too bad this afternoon. My legs are tired, but I don't feel like I have to lay down all day like I did on my last few long runs. I hope to have a great today tomorrow not running, but getting in TRX and maybe a bike ride depending on how the legs feel.

I am proud of myself and I hope that you are pushing yourself to new levels where you can be proud of yourself.

On another note, a great source of inspiration to me, Jeff Paul, has a big race this weekend in Racine. He will be competing in an Ironman 70.3. He recently posted a blog post about reflecting on where he was three years ago and where he is now. He is a machine right now. I hope he tears up the course. He is due. He has prepared. He is GETTING IT DONE! If you have not checked out his blog(Dream Big JP) please do so. Be sure to follow him on Sunday and send him some good luck as he has not had the best luck so far this year. However, I am feeling nothing but success for him this weekend.

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