18.12 Miles in the Books!!! Quite a Surprise

Wow!!! This wasn’t planned for today, but the weather cooperated temps in the low 50’s, 8-10 mph breeze out of the north and I was heading south made for perfect running conditions.

Plus I had decided before running that instead of doing my scheduled hard/fast long run that I would do a Long Slower Distance Run.

It was also nice to be wearing shorts and just a long sleeve shirt with a tech tshirt, along with my Instinct 1.5’s (free media sample from Altra), instead of the heavy winter gear.

This is the longest run I have done since probably 1987, when I was training for the East Lyme Marathon with Joe St. Louis – which I ended up getting injured and did not run. I also know I felt a helluva lot better than my 17.0 miler last June and feel a lot better 4 hours later than I back then.

Looking back at today’s run, I do have to laugh though – when I got to the turn for my 13.0 mile course, I didn’t want to go that “short”, I was feeling strong and decided to see what I had in me today, knowing that I needed to get to TheWife’s work by 3:30, to catch a ride home.

Let’s back up and see what I was doing, to get to that point,  here are the elevation/mileage charts from my Garmin.

While there is a net elevation loss on this run, there are also some pretty nasty hills, especially once I got on the River Road. So this is not an easy course by any stretch of the imagination. However, it is a course that I will use to test my fitness levels, from time-to-time to see where I actually am. That hill between 6.5 to about 8.0 miles was a bitch, it just never seemed to end and then that one by Stiman Steel with the curve half-way up, was tough!

Actually some of the downhills were just as tough, if not tougher on my legs than the uphills, especially one coming down to the first traffic Circle off Bangor Street, it isn’t that steep, but a tough place to run and my legs were pretty tired by that time.

Here are my mile splits:

I started out really strong and felt good, I planned to slow down on River Road and wanted to average around a 9:00 minuter per mile pace overall. Considering the hills on the Road Rd, I was surprised that I was able to stay under 9:00 minute pace for so long.

The end of the hill is in sight at mile 8.0
The Augusta town-line and yet another hill.
Going across the Kennebec River Bridge

However, once I went by the 11 mile mark, I did slow down, the accumulation of the hills were starting to me and I was loosing focus. I definitely needed something more than water. Do I wish that I had turned at 10.0 miles at that point, no it gave me a great idea of how I would feel without refueling consistently on a long run.

The reason I didn’t re-fuel, was because I forgot to get my Gu for my run this week. So all I had was water and it just wasn’t enough.

I had never run this course before, so it was a lot different than driving it in a vehicle, the hills seemed a lot longer and definitely steeper while running them. Then it when I got to Church Hill Road (yes there were a couple of hills), I was feeling the lack of fuel, but just kept plugging along. Actually at no time during the run did I feel really bad, just fatigued, which is how I should feel at that point.

After finishing, sitting in the car 🙂

When I got down to the second circle, I decided to go around the Capitol to add a little more onto the run, I had decided to go at least 18.0 miles, that is why at the end I zig zagged up and down towards the end of the run.

Could I have finished a marathon today, mmmm probably, but honestly I was starting to hit the wall – hard, the lack of fuel was really starting to affect me. I am glad that I wasn’t running a marathon today, but if I had been I would have had different a fuel plan in place :-).

Overall, I was very happy with the run! The next time, I will have my Gu or Cliff Shots with me and see how they help once I get past 10 miles. I did answer one question today, how my knees and legs would hold up for a longer run – NO PAIN! Tired – absolutely, but tired I can deal with.

I am glad that I have almost 6 months to get myself ready to run a marathon distance, but at over a minute faster per mile pace :-). It was a good reality check to see how much I still need to improve.