23 miles

I have one more long run to do prior to the marathon, and that run is 26 miles. I have been on the fence about doing that actual distance after finishing my 23 mile run on Friday. I have decided it is in my best interest to stick with the plan and do the distance required in the training plan, that is why it is part of the training plan. When I increase my distance by 3 miles, the previously added 3 miles do become a little easier and the newly added 3 miles are the hard ones. So it will be best for me to do the 26 miles so that I will have all those miles under my belt for the actual marathon.

Training Recap
Miles 1-3 are always tough for me. Warming up and mentally getting my head in the game are part of the beginning of my long runs. I also run on Cook Road and something about that road is always a hurdle for me. After Cook Road I started onto a new route I have never run before. That was a nice change of scenery. I travelled down my street towards Wallingford. While on that road, I thought it was a good idea to stay ahead of my fueling needs, so I had a Gu about about 50 minutes into the run.

I had my phone set up to follow my route and it counted down the miles I had left. That was also something that helped me, hearing how many I had left to go rather than how many I did run. I don’t know why that is, but I was happier to learn that 10 miles were completed and the estimated finishing time.

Miles 6-10 I ran on sidewalks through Wallingford and North Haven. It was a treat to run on a sidewalk instead of a poorly slanted road like the road in Northford have for rain and snow run off. Wallingford and North Haven are much flatter roads also. At this point in the run, I was done listening to my Two Gomers podcasts and switched to the Mikey Miles podcasts. I also had some Stinger Chews at Mile 10.

Miles 10-14 I was wondering if I had to go to the bathroom. I think part of that was because I knew my in-laws lived near where I was running so if I needed to go anywhere in an emergency I had that option. I didn’t want to stop though. So I kept running past their street and continued on my route. Around mile 12 I started to eat some pretzels to test out that source of fuel. It was weird to actually chew food while on my walk breaks. But they were helpful to me.

I reached Adrienne’s school around mile 14.5 in time to see her and poppa pass me on their way back home from school. I had a Gu at mile 15 and was starting to feel some fatigue and was concerned that I still had 8 miles to go. Last time I ran past her school on my 20 mile run, I knew I only had 5 miles to go.

I pushed on and went to Rimmon Road. Kevin called me around mile 16 and at that point I needed to talk with him about an issue he was having and it was a good time for me to have a longer walk break to regroup for the rest of my trip home. I resumed my walk/run times at mile 17.75 and headed back from North Haven into Northford.

At mile 19.5 I was feeling tired again. I talked to Kevin for a bit and then ran towards East Dayton Hill road where I walked up the entire hill and resumed my walk/runs from miles 21 towards home. I veered off my pre-determined route however and that cut my trip too short. I didn’t want to run back down towards the library and back up route 17. I just wanted to run home. So I ran home and when I got to my driveway I was only at 22.25 miles. I had to do laps in my driveway and back up and down my street a little bit until I hit 23 miles. Next time I will stick to the path; but I wanted the comfort of just being back home.

When I was done with the run, I was seriously concerned that I didn’t want to do that again for the 26 mile training run and thenonce more for the actual marathon. But I know it is essential and best to train. My recovery went very well. I did my ice bath immediately after and iced before bed. As usualy, I didn’t sleep well because the soreness kept me awake at times. I stretched and iced the next morning and was pretty mobile most of the day. Walking down stairs was hard, but not unbearable. By the evening of the next day I felt like I did after running my first half marathon. So I think my body is adjusting for this and it makes me proud to know that I can do this and I can function afterwards.

Preparation
During the week I was experimenting with carb loading. I had more breads and carbs during the week; but was lacking in my water intake. I made sure the day before I had more water.

The morning of the run I put on my usual calf sleeves, Glide stick on my sports bra rather than right on my skin, and I created a second skin pad to put on my toe where I usually blister. That worked out great, no blister at all!

For breakfast that morning I had my oatmeal and my skim milk with tea prior to getting the kids off to school.

What the future holds

Two days later and despite some soreness; I’m feeling great. And I am already mapping out my run for the 26 miles to be run on December 20.

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