Under normal circumstances, one should not jump from 13.1 miles one Saturday to 17 miles the next.
Before I snagged the deal for the GHS Half Marathon, I had 15 miles on the plan for last Saturday. That progression makes much more sense. 15 to 17, not so bad.
As evidenced by this post, I did not die because of my poor planning.
This run was actually one of my best marathon training long runs, ever.
I started out feeling pretty run down and apprehensive. I had no idea how my body was going to react to a 17 miler. I haven’t run longer than 14 since Savannah. On top of that I was dealing with some other stuff (I’ll get into it later…not here) and felt pretty weighed down.
Instead of focusing on time I just ran. God helped me use those early miles to talk things out with Him and give it over to Him. Things felt so much lighter after that. It’s runs like this that make me even more grateful that God has given me this ability and love for running.
Since I did not know what to expect pace-wise, I chose not to look at my Garmin the whole time. Well, not the pace on my Garmin. I did glance at the watch to determine distance and when I would stop for fuel breaks. I did not want to push myself unnecessarily to maintain a certain pace. In then end, I know this was a good decision.
The weather was gorgeous and so was the scenery, green with spring. I felt strong almost the entire time. At a few points, once in the middle (surprise, surprise) and a couple times in the last few miles, I felt a little tired. Other than that I maintained what has become an average pace for me, 9:27.
I expected things to get tough after mile 14 but besides getting just a tad harder, I felt great and powered through with a last mile clocking in at 8:47. Yeah, that makes me pretty happy.
I finished knowing that was my fastest marathon long run ever. I had to check the data to see if I was correct. (I took screen shots thinking I was going to display them all here but thought better of it.)
I was indeed correct. While I’ve never run just 17 miles before, I have run 16 and 18 plenty of times. The best pace out of all of them? 10:27.
That made me very happy indeed. I’m not sure what helped me snap out of the funk I was in all last fall but I love the new stronger, faster me. I plan on keeping this up for as long as I can.