Survived My 18-Miler!

I haven’t run 18 miles since early 2003. More than 8 years. Pre-marriage was the last time I ran 18 miles. I was freaking 24 years old. So I was a little concerned if I would make it or if I would want to die around mile 16.

At 8:30am-ish, I began the 9 mile trek south down the 101. I figured I’d try to stick to 9:15-9:30 and if I felt good, pick it up at the midway point. Thank God for the Garmin because quarter of the way through the first mile I looked down to see a mile-pace of 8:40. Yeah. Not in the plan to run sub-9 for mile 1. I pulled myself back to the 9:15 range and trudged along. Around mile 2 or so, I left a wind-shielded area to find that we had a lovely headwind coming at us. I think that give the choice to run uphill or in a headwind, I’d always choose uphill. At least I could attack a hill and visually size it up. Have plan of action. Headwind? You can’t see it. It tends to change in intensity.

On several occasions during the first 9 miles, I asked the wind, outloud, to “Give me a break, already!” And also, “You’d better not change direction when I turn around!” Another reason running into wind sucks. It can change direction. A hill is concrete – you go up, then you go down. I’ll take a hill any day of the week over bullshit wind.

So, miles 1-9 looked like this:


Apparently, Garmin though I ran up a HUUUUUGE hill and then ran down it in mile 1. Not the case, I did not climb 505 feet in one mile. That would be brutal. And ridiculous.

After having a deglet noor date around mile 4, at mile 9 before turning around I had a PowerGel that I scored at the Iron Girl expo. I’m not sure I completely dig the texture, but it is certainly better than super-goopy stuff. It’s really thin in consistency – like almost drinkable. Given that it was free, I liked it well enough.

I started running north and it was like night a day with the wind. I felt like I was running at ludicrous speed (which was just 8:50’s but whatever). Seriously, I had a stupid grin on my face, running uphill with the wind at my back.

Every couple miles, I ate a date and drank some gatorade.

Around mile 14-15 it started to feel like it was getting tiring. All this running. I allowed myself to ease up during mile 15 because I had no desire to drag myself through the last 3 miles as a result of draining my fuel tank.

The last mile, I was determined to run my fastest split – I was secretly hoping to run 8:30’s but I was happy enough to finish with an 8:44 and not be completely dead.


I’m pretty happy with this run. I had about 3-4 minutes of bathroom break, turn-around break, and stop-light time. So, even taking that into account, I think it went well!

I have no idea what to expect of my first marathon in nearly 9 years. I guess the primary goal is to PR – which shouldn’t be that hard considering it’s currently a 4:26:54.

3 more days ‘til the Turkey Trot! 5 miles… maybe sub 38? We’ll see!


  1. You are so impressive. I've just been excited to get past the 3 mile mark and ran 4 this past weekend. But question for you - how do you carry drink/food with you? I cannot stand to be bogged down with heavier winter clothing, let alone food and drink. And do you really feel a difference by eating and drinking? I've never done it and I don't know any different.

  2. 18 miles is pretty far. Man.... you're pretty bad ass.

  3. Woohooo! You kicked a$$!!! Yesssssssss.

    I agree with you about hills vs. wind. I'll take hills any day. Lately the wind has sucked and it was super bad on Sunday! That makes you extra awesome. Just sayin.

    So you are at 18 now by c-bad you will be more than ready. Sub 38 tomorrow? YES!


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