Have you ever had one of those nights when you really need to get a good night’s sleep so that you can function the next day? Last night was one of those nights. I knew that I needed a good amount of sleep so that I could handle the 18 miles that were on my training plan this morning.
I went to be around 9:30 with the plan to be asleep by 10:00. That didn’t happen. When 11:00 rolled around, I told myself that if I fell asleep right then, I could still get 6 hours of sleep.
Then, it was midnight. I could still get 5 hours of sleep. At this point, I noticed that Tim breathes very loudly when he is sleeping. How can someone breathe so loud?!? It was infuriating (although, rationally, not his fault).
At 1:00, I could still get 4 hours of sleep. I can run 18 miles on four hours of sleep. Except, I wasn’t falling asleep. So, I moved to the couch. Bad decision. From there, I could hear the clock chime every 15 minutes. It was like a reminder every 15 minutes that I had just lost out on that much sleep. So, after almost an hour, I went back to bed.
At 2:00, I could still get 3 hours of sleep. I was a little delusional at this point, and actually considered just getting dressed and heading out for my run right then. Because it is totally safe to run outside at 2:00 a.m. Like I said, delusional.
Sometime between 2:30 and 3:00, I actually fell asleep. Around 4:15, Tim had a dream and shouted out something. He does this occasionally. I’ve never been so upset at him for having a dream (again, rationally, not his fault).
At 5:00, my alarm went off and it was time to get moving. I heated up some white rice (the pre-run meal that tends to keep my stomach under control), put my contacts in (not easy on two hours of sleep) and got dressed. I put my water and fuel in my mailbox so that I can stop after each loop for hydration.
I got started and, as is typical for me, it took a few miles for me to get my feet under me. My goal pace for this run was 10:20-10:40 per mile.
Mile 1: 10:33
Mile 2: 10:29
Mile 3: 10:36
Mile 4: 10:32
Mile 5: 10:35
Mile 6: 10:34
Mile 7: 10:27
Mile 8: 10:44
Mile 9: 10:23
Mile 10: 10:19
Mile 11: 10:25
Mile 12: 10:12
Mile 13: 10:12
Mile 14: 9:58
Mile 15: 10:08
Mile 16: 10:37
Mile 17: 10: 38
Mile 18: 10:05
I actually felt pretty good for most of this run. The weather was almost perfect when I started. A couple miles in, it started raining. Not a really hard rain, but I was definitely getting wet. I thought about stopping at home to get a visor to keep the rain off my face, but every time I got close to home, the rain would let up and I didn’t feel like stopping. Eventually, I had to stop. Just before mile 13, I stopped at home and changed into dry socks and shoes. I was starting to feel a blister forming on the big toe on my right foot and I didn’t want to let that happen. I grabbed a visor too. Naturally, it stopped raining after that. About 12 miles were run in the rain. I haven’t run much in the rain, but…you never know what will happen on race day!
I am a little encouraged that my pace is rather consistent. If I could maintain a 10:25 pace in my marathon, I would finish in 4:33. That would be amazing. Of course, there is a big difference between 18 miles and 26.2 miles.
I have to say that the most encouraging part of this run was that my typical stomach issues were non-existent! I didn’t have to make a bathroom break at all during this run. This is huge for me!! (I did have to prepare for the two days prior to the run, by monitoring what I ate.) One discouraging note is that my left knee started hurting the last two or three miles. I even had to take a couple quick walk/stretch breaks. It was pretty intense and I hope it is nothing serious. That reminds me, I should get some ice on it.
I was interested to see where my training was at this point for my last marathon. I had anticipated that I would be doing much better this time around. After all, I’ve set PRs in both the half marathon and the 10K in the last few months. So, I checked back and looked over my post from my last 18 miler. Then, I got discouraged. I am pretty much exactly where I was two years ago.
My pace today was 10:25. My pace then was 10:21. I had really hoped that I would be a stronger, faster, fitter runner. And, I think I am. At this point in my training for my first marathon, I didn’t yet know I was pregnant. I was also dealing with a hip injury for most of my training (I got a cortisone shot to get through the race). I know that my training started to get really difficult at this point last time…no doubt from the pregnancy.
So, I am still encouraged. The race is 78 days away. I have two 20 milers and a 22 miler scheduled for my long runs. I also have a couple races between now and then. I’ll be writing a preview for the next two in a day or two. Here’s a hint…I’m doing two races on the same day!
How did your run go today? Did anyone else have to run in the rain?