18 miles and what I am training for

Sunday I ran 18 miles. I did not want to wake up and run Sunday morning but Phil drug me out of bed, literally, by my feet around 8am. I am miserable in the morning and I don’t like waking up but we were out the door by 8:30.

Mile 1 (8:13): I was miserable. My legs were heavy and sore. I wanted to stop running. I thought about why I was even doing this and how much nicer it would be to still be in bed snuggling with my cats.

Mile 2(7:37): Phil and I began debating about my beliefs on coaching. I strongly believe that under no circumstance is it acceptable for a person who has never competitively participated in a particular sport to coach said sport. For example, I would never think a person who has never played soccer would be qualified to coach soccer. As a runner I have had many coaches and any experience I have personally had with a coach who did not compete in the sport has been negative because there was no way for the coach to relate to my experiences participating in the sport. Phil and I love playing devils advocate when one of us feels strongly about something and he began debating with me about my thoughts on this issue. I know that not everyone will share my opinion, just as I will not always share in the same opinions of others. We have these types of debates often. I find them to be a healthy part of any relationship. It brings awareness to why a person may believe something and why they may not and it helps to keep us both open minded and ask challenging questions. It also lets us learn how to accept that other people have different opinions and how to be okay with that. *side note, when I feel strongly about something I tend to run faster 

Mile 3(7:49): We safely maneuvered our way to the bike path while avoiding busy roads. I was once again miserable because I hate stopping at lights, crossing streets, and dodging cars. I also stopped once to stretch because my legs felt like lead.

Mile 4(7:56): We made it to the bike path. My feet were completely numb at this point. I once again stopped to stretch. I started to get upset because I HATE when this happens. I have posterior compartment syndrome. This primarily affects my calves. It cuts the circulation off in my calves and then eventually in my feet and then I have to stop running, shake my legs out, and stretch for a minute. This is not new, I just manage it well and it rarely impacts my training anymore but for some reason Sunday morning it was a nagging problem.

Mile 5(7:49): My legs still hurt and my feet were still tingly so I complained about this for the whole 5th mile.

Mile 6(7:54): I started to feel pretty good, not necessarily pain free but strong. I finally wasn’t miserable running. I realized I had another 12 miles to run and I started to think I needed to slow down or I wouldn’t make it. I tried to slow down.

Mile 7(7:46): I guess I didn’t slow down. I started telling Phil about the meet the day before and how thrilled I was that all 12 of our athletes ran PRs. *side note, when I get excited about something I usually run faster

Mile 8(7:44): This is the mile that almost ruined the whole run. When I had hit 7.5 miles I twisted my ankle and feel off of the very flat bike path. I found myself on the ground in pain. I got up shook it off and kept running. My ankle didn’t seem to bug me after a few minutes. Phil told me he had a feeling that I was going to fall and he felt like he should have cautioned me to be careful not to fall off the bike path. I told him that either he is just used to me being klutzy or we are connected by our love….or both.

Mile 9(7:33): I found myself at the end of the bike path. I had never run all the way to the end and I only knew I was at the end because it said “end”. I was excited. The smallest things make me happy! When I got to the end I realized that I now had to run all the way back to my house, which was now 9 miles away.

Mile 10(7:33): All of mile 10 was spent talking about how neither of us had ever seen the end of this particular bike path before. We had both run on this path many many times in college but neither of us had ever actually searched for the end. I started thinking about how sometimes things just abruptly end without you expecting it or being prepared for the ending. In my mind that path went on forever but in actuality it just abruptly ended. This is kind of just like life. You may think life as you know it will go on as it is forever but it won’t. The path will end. I may not have said this out load but I certainly made the connection in my head. I was at peace with it though because sometimes things have to end for new things to begin.

Mile 11(7:28): I realized I was getting faster and that this run was turning into a progression run, as most of my long runs have. Phil and I discussed my Altra shoes. I mentioned how I haven’t lost any additional toenails since I started running in them and how my missing toenails have started to grow back.

Mile 12(7:21): Phil admitted that the seat on my mountain bike (he was riding my bike) is uncomfortable and that I should invest in a new one.

Mile 13(7:27): I was so happy I woke up and got out of bed to run.

Mile 14(7:26): I noted that during this run I had run a half marathon in 1 hour and 41 minutes and that if I could hold this pace I would be capable of running a full marathon in under 3 hours and 25 minutes.

Mile 15(7:20): I became really excited about my spontaneous choice to run the Philadelphia marathon back in May. Yes, there it is. I am training for the Philadelphia marathon on November 22nd.

Mile 16(7:19): I was off the bike path now and heading back to my house. I was feeling strong and happy about my decision to run a marathon. I have kept this a secret from the internet for months because I wanted to train for this my own way with the exception of advice that I had sought out from trusted friends.

Mile 17(7:04): I told Phil that I was running too fast and then I said “7:04” and I kept running. About a minute later I said that if I could get over the railroad tracks I would be almost done.

Mile 18(6:31): I felt amazing. I also just wanted to get home as fast as I could and eat the oatmeal cookies I had made the night before. My legs felt strong and I didn’t even realize how fast I was running. When my watch beeped I just abruptly stopped.

Then my ankle started to hurt, I felt burning on my back and chest (chaffing), and I guzzled the gatorade that Phil had on the bike the whole time. I was .2 miles from home but I just walked back to the house because if I ran back I would have been tempted to run 19 miles since I had already gone further than 18, and then 20, and then 21, and then 22, and it would have went on forever so I had to stop.

Running makes me happy 🙂

6 thoughts on “18 miles and what I am training for

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