The Long Run: 18 Miles and Counting

It’s done, 18 miles under my belt. Fuck, that was not easy. But I’m glad I finally made it that distance. The build up to this run had me very nervous. My left foot had been bothering me and I wasn’t sure how it was going to hold up on this run. It had been almost a month since I completed a long run over two hours. I was able to make it through though, and with minimal pain!

I neededIMG_5014 to start the run early as I had commitments later in the day. I had planned on the run taking me a little over three and a half hours based on an 11:30 MAF pace. This is a big chunk of the day! I decided to run along the Bear Creek path since it’s a nice flat run. This way I could do an easy nine miles out, then back to get to eighteen.

It was supposed to be a nice day getting up to the mid 60’s. When I started a little after eight, it was still in the 40’s. I decided to wear shorts, but had a long sleeve pullover on. I had to shed that about halfway through the run. The sun was out, a little breezy, but a perfect day for a run overall.

My right calf was a little tense for the first four miles. Then it seemed to calm down and it was all good. And for the first 9 miles I was feeling great. At about mile nine my pesky left foot started to hurt. It came and went, nothing sharp, but I knew it was there. I got really nervous not sure if it was going to get worse. There were times I stopped to walk a bit, just not to over do it. But honestly if felt better if I just kept running.

By mile 13 it was hard for me to keep my heart rate at MAF. I had to slow down significantly. It was interesting to see how my body changed throughout the run. I had started off listening to an audio book, Primal Endurance, and by mile 12 I couldn’t focus on it anymore. I switched to music.

The last two miles of the run were hard, but not impossible. My legs hurt but I was able to muster through. When I finally finished I was surprised how good I actually felt. It was a good run all around. These distances are hard, but I think letting my body get ample rest will help me improve and keep moving forward.


Growing up in Colorado you can't help but love the outdoors. Something magical happens with 300 days of sunshine and the Rocky Mountains in your back yard. My athletic endeavors started on the bike, I would get out and ride whenever I could. In 2011 I moved to Oxford, England for work. I missed the sunshine and mountains, but discovered my passion for running. When I moved back to Colorado I started combining cycling and running, so it was only natural that I started competing in triathlons. I took second place at my first sprint, and caught the bug. Today I'm training for my fourth Ironman.

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