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!