The miles only go up

For the last 7 weeks I’ve been training for my first marathon using Hal Higdon’s Marathon Novice 2 guide, and last Saturday was set as a 14 mile run. I have never run farther than a half marathon (13.1 miles) so it was a little worrisome when I first thought about it. I say ‘a little’ because after running thirteen, I couldn’t imagine one more mile being that big of a deal. The distance bothered me a lot less when I thought about in that way. I really lucked out with the weather as it was an unseasonably warm 43° and the sun was out, which made for excellent running conditions.

I’m now going to share with you the bane of my running existence: keeping a slower pace during long runs. My legs always instinctively want to run as fast as I can, and I’m terrible at remembering to slow myself down. The one thing that has truly helped in this department is the GPS watch Emily got me last year. It’s pretty sweet. It beeps every mile and displays my current pace, which I can then adjust accordingly. Granted I still end up running faster than I should at times, but at least it’s getting better.

Noteworthy items from the run:

  • I used my water belt for the first time! It was rough going at first as it kept slipping down on me, but once I got it adjusted properly, it was great!
  • People need to clean up after their dogs better. There was dog poop all over the trail. It was like running through a mine field. A really disgusting mine field.
  • My legs and knees didn’t bother me until after mile 10 which is better than normal. This is extra great as I actually got to enjoy the majority of run.
  • I used two packets of Hüma for the first time. It was odd not to be eating it at the turn around point and using them a little earlier. (Strawberry & Chocolate for the win!)
  • I entertained myself by quoting movie lines along the way. Star Trek and Star Wars were the most used by far.
  • I had to stop because of traffic about a tenth of a mile from the finish and I immediately realized I couldn’t stop for long or my legs were not going to start again. It was amusing and made me laugh.


 (Picture courtesy of previously mentioned sweet GPS watch)

Overall, I’m really pleased with with my pace and performance during the run. Add in the fact I had never run that far before, and I’m going to put in the ‘Win’ column with a gold star.

My legs have been aching a lot the last two days, but it was totally worth it. Plus the distance only increases, so I suppose I better get used to it. Either that or Emily will smother me with a pillow from all the complaining. (Haha!)

Here’s to the 15 mile run next Saturday! Cheers!