I’m continuing to progress with my long runs, and now have reached the 24 mile mark. I can feel confident that I’ll be able to finish a marathon. This run wasn’t easy, but it was a very smooth run. I was able to keep pace and didn’t have to walk at all. I did stop twice, once to pee and the second to buy a bottle of water. But all in all it was a great distance run.
I had scheduled this run the week after a 22 mile run. I had been taking a week off between these runs, but do to a few scheduling issues, I wanted to squeeze this distance in before it got too close the the big race. I also ran the day after an 80 mile bike ride, which I hadn’t accounted for. I was little sore in my legs, but it was all good.
I wanted to get an early start on the day, but didn’t end up starting the run until about 10am. When I got to my normal parking spot I noticed a familiar car. It was Jessica’s! She was also out on her long run. About 2 miles in, we passed each other and exchanged a high five.
To try to keep things interesting on this run I decided to go north instead of south as I did the week before. Unfortunately, this decision was met with a detour that kept me short of my 12 mile turn around point. I had to improvise and did some quick math in my head. I ran a few spurs to account for the missing mile that I needed to make up. This didn’t work out very well as I got back to my car with another half mile to run. This was very disappointing, but a took off on another spur and was able to get the full 24 miles in.
I help up very well throughout the entire run. I was tired at the end, but not nearly like I was the previous week. I didn’t even have to walk. Although the sun had come out and I got extra thirsty. I needed to get water pretty badly. I stopped at a gas station along the route and picked up a liter. It was a welcome refreshment. It was only about 4 miles before the end of the run, but I drank the entire bottle before I finished.
The thing I learned on this run is that you have to respect the distance. 24 miles is a lot, and 26.2 is even more. Knowing what your body is capable of is important when you push yourself this far. Even though running at MAF pace doesn’t take as much of a toll and the body, you still need to respect what you are doing. I’m now confident I’ll be able to finish a marathon, and even under 4 hours if I really push myself. But race day is another story. I can tell you I will respect the marathon distance and looking forward to joining the ranks of all those who’ve completed this massive distance.