18 Mile and A Few Lessons Learned

Last week I finished my second to last LONG run before the big race; 18 entire miles. My marathon is 5 weeks away. After last week I learned a few things.

  1. My wireless ear buds only have battery life for 3 hours. That means I can’t use them for the entire long run; I need to add them in toward the middle. The battery failed with 3 miles to go and that was bad timing.
  2. Not eating the right foods for dinner and trying to make up for it at midnight is never a good idea. I didn’t get time to eat dinner on Wednesday night. My 18 mile run was Thursday. I got up at midnight with my kid and saw that it was snowing so I knew I wouldn’t be up at 4 to run. But I also remembered that I skipped dinner. I decided to make myself some pasta…at midnight. Wasn’t my best idea but I knew it was better than nachos.
  3. Skipping breakfast because you are still full from dinner is REALLY not a good idea. I was in no mood to eat when I got up at 6.  I tried but just couldn’t do it. I packed myself energy chews and a PB&J and called it good.
  4. PB&J late in the run is a bad idea. Peanut Butter is a great source of protein, but dang, the last thing my body wanted to do was try and chew bread at mile 15.
  5. Running while everyone is at work rocks…to an extent. Once my music ended I started thinking about the things piling up on my desk and all the things I needed to get done. Very hard to stay focused on putting “one foot in front of the other” at that point.
  6. Going to work after a long run isn’t a completely horrible idea. It forced me to get up and walk around so my body wouldn’t be come a gigantic pile of cramped muscle. I also had great conversations with co-workers regarding running and my running routine.
  7. Mentally – I was fried. Seriously. I found a few mindless things to do where I did not have to think too hard and made it thru my afternoon.
  8. Someone in my running area does not like fruit. I saw 2 half eaten apples and half a banana on the road. As I got tired- I started to think that banana looked really good. Yuck!
  9. I finally hit a point where I started to question why I decided to finish a full marathon. My mind was fried. My body was beat up and started to hurt. The thought of doing even MORE miles in the weeks ahead started to sound more like punishment than a goal to be tackled. But…
  10. I finished. I had started to think about running my last 3 miles inside -but I talked myself out of it. I also finished under 4 hours. Considering I walked 75% of each of the last 3 miles I consider that a HUGE win.
  11. Not only did I finish under 4 hours but my body wasn’t as beaten as I thought it was. Yes I was sore the next day but not nearly as bad as I expected. Ice was my best friend. Stretching and a slow walk around the office were helpful. I went to a Les Mills Body Flow class 2 days post run and found that my body really enjoyed the extra stretch.
  12. The extra mileage completely throws my calorie tracker out of whack. I couldn’t imagine trying to eat over 3500 calories the day I ran. All I wanted to eat were veggies, hummus and to drink a LOT of water. The day after I still wasn’t very hungry but post run day 2 and 3 I was starving.

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