Long Run = Long Post

This morning I ran my last long run before the marathon.

Miles 1 & 2 - I ran these warm-up miles nice and easy. It was a little foggy and about 60 - 65 degrees.

Mile 3 - My goal was to run the next 14 miles at 9:07. That's 20 seconds slower than my goal marathon pace for a 3:50 finish. I was running as fast as I thought I could run for a long run and when I saw my pace (9:20) I started having "I can't do this" thoughts. Maybe instead of only a piece of toast with jam, I should have eaten a gel like I did before my 15 miler last week.

Mile 4 - I took a gel when my Garmin hit 4 miles. My pace: 9:07. Just what I needed!

Miles 5 - 7 - Pace: 8:59, 9:05, 9:01.

Miles 8 - 10 - I took another gel at mile 8. It was so foggy that after the three houses down the road, there was nothing but fog. Only two things were on my mind: 9:07 and look out for headlights. (I was running in the road.) Pace: 9:06, 9:07, 9:09.

Miles 11-13 - I took another gel at mile 12. Pace: 8:55, 8:53, 8:56. I felt okay so I didn't slow down and I wondered if my Garmin had stopped working. I was running about 20 seconds slower than 8:35 - the pace I'd need to finish in 3:45. I wondered if I should speed up because my Garmin was going to set itself right in a few minutes and tell me that I was really slowing down. (Garmin, is everything okay?) Ahead of me was only a big, white cloud of fog.

Mile 14 - I was getting tired, but I only had to run miles 15-17 fast and then I could slow down. I felt like my body was falling forward. I straightened up. Run tall and strong! That helped. Pace: 9:00.

Miles 15 & 16 - I saw two bicyclists I had never seen before (except that I ran by them a couple of times today) and one of them said, "Good luck on the marathon!" Who was that mysterious bike rider?! Pace: 8:54 & 8:54.

Mile 17 - I was starting to feel tired again, but the faster I ran, the sooner I'd be done. Pace: 8:43.

Mile 18 - A nice and easy cool down mile... What am I writing?! It was not nice and easy. I was really, really tired. My body was falling forward. Straighten up! The last .12 of a mile was sure a long way. (Garmin, are you still working?) Finally, the fog was beginning to lift, but I think it kept me fairly cool and I'm grateful for it even though it drenched everything: my tissues, eyelashes, clothes, hair...everything.

With the 18 mile run finished (2 hours & 45 minutes), I got in the chilly swimming pool for ten minutes. I skipped it last week, but since I was drenched anyway, I got in today. I took a hot drink and a peanut butter sandwich with me.

Mission accomplished and now it's taper time!

~Gotta Run Now

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