16 miles and a Mountain

Remember when I announced that I’d be running the New River Marathon and talked just a little about the course elevation?
Screen Shot 2012-03-12 at 5.03.36 PM

Well, the best way to make sure that I’m able to complete this marathon is to train for it. That seems obvious but I missed that part during Spinx Marathon training.

The thing is … I extremely dislike hills. They mess with my stride and slow me down. On the other hand, I don’t “hate” them. The downhills are generally wonderful. 😀

So, I planned a new kind of long run for this marathon. (At least for the two long runs including this one where I’m not running a half marathon.) I’m very blessed to have access to an adequate substitute, Paris Mountain.

Screen Shot 2012-03-31 at 12.03.43 PM
(I’m not sure why Garmin decides to start out so “high” but oh well.)

This morning, I headed to the Swamp Rabbit Trail as usual but planned an alternate route that would take me to the route used for the Paris Mountain Road Race.

I started to feel the incline almost before I got to the mountain and learned the lesson that an advanced Nike Training Club workout should not be done two days before I run up Paris Mountain. 😀

I think I’d forgotten how difficult running up Paris Mountain is. I had to slow to a walk several times as I headed up but I kept going. I wanted to at least conquer the mountain again.

This “hill” messes with your mind (mine at least). When I neared the summit those doubting thoughts returned. I started wondering what I was thinking for bumping up to the marathon and whether I should just go back to the half marathon. I recognized those thoughts for what they were. (Similar thoughts assailed me my first time up the mountain.)

Once I got to the downhill though all those thoughts vanished. I decided that if I have to walk part of the “hill” at New River, I’ll do it and still be able to finish the marathon. I just don’t know how my legs are going to feel after 16 miles which is when I’ll encounter the “hill” during the marathon.

Once I descended the mountain and got back to my starting place I’d covered 10 miles. I still had 6 to go. I was only briefly tempted to stop there and that temptation wasn’t even strong. Instead I set out and covered the last 6 miles at a pace I didn’t think my legs would be able to carry me after the mountain. I even managed a sub 9 minute pace for the last mile.

I finished more than pleased with the run and thoroughly in love with marathon training. I know some people like Crossfit Endurance or the FIRST program and that those programs work for some people. Not me though. I don’t want to follow a program that will have me run less miles.

I want to end this post with a retrospective of sorts. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to look back at other runs to compare and contrast and see how I’ve grown as a runner.

Today was my third 16 miler. (out of many more I hope)

My first didn’t go so well. I wasn’t ready.
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The second went so much better.
Screen Shot 2012-03-31 at 12.04.50 PM

I was more than pleased to see my splits today, especially since there was a mountain in the mix.
Screen Shot 2012-03-31 at 12.03.57 PM

Up next? Clemson Easter Bunny Half Marathon
It’s supposed to be hilly. Yay!



Filed under marathon

2 responses to “16 miles and a Mountain

  1. Pingback: New River Marathon Training | Stepping Out

  2. Pingback: Mountain Assault Take 2–18 mile edition | Stepping Out

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