18 miles oh my

My oh my oh my. What is the most stiff? My hips, my knees, my back?


Well, anyway, I did it. I mapped out a route, which (there was some logic) I mapped out backwards, as I knew the first bit was 10 miles, so I mapped out the end first to check it was 8 miles, then added the beginning on. Capri’s and vest on (warm weather gear is here to stay now!), nuun in my water bottle, shot bloks and phone in my belt (plus a random packet of pineapple raisins that were best before June 2010), and I was off. Slowly.

The weather was windy again, but at least nice and sunny, so it was lovely to be outside and spot the daffodils, tulips, daisies, cornflowers etc that were all blooming. After 6 miles I realised I was 1/3 of the way and feeling alright. To be honest I think my brain has shut down a bit as I cannot quite remember when it got hard. I did have some shot bloks (3) but then I ran out of water and you have to have them with water, so then I went onto the raisins. I was tempted at the end to ring Andy but by then I was less than a mile from home so it seemed it would be quicker to just keep going. The satisfaction that I completed it is here, but also I feel very shattered. I think one problem was my mind- I normally just think about my runs each week, but this week I have been having little panics about the actual marathon, and so today I did think that I would still have 8 miles to go on top of that. Now, when I am sat down and having eaten lunch and drank loads of water, I can reason that by then I will have completed (hopefully) another 18 miler, a 20 miler and more medium- long runs, plus the adrenaline, crowd etc will all help. But the doubts were creeping in and making it harder work. I was willing the endorphins to kick in.

Anyway, my Nike+ thought I did 19.08 miles, I think it was closer to 18 than 19 (but my route did change a bit due to me adding on a half mile at the start and also going on a new bit around town) so maybe it was. It took me 3 hours 30 minutes, which was my vague estimate at the start. I need to take some positives from this- that is the furthest yet again that I have ever run. I am still on target for doing the 20 miles in the time limit of 4 hours. I did not get any blisters. I am still able to walk around (just). I can tick off another run from my plan.

Reading that back I seem quite negative. I am not being negative, but I am having little attacks of the nerves which I know will get worse. So watch out over the next 2 months. At least I am going there with Andy (his comment before his 18 miles this morning; “in 2 months this will all be over”) so he knows I am not turning into a crazy person for nothing.

I made some cinnamon raisin bread with more pumpkin seeds- that was a good lunch 🙂

Right, off to hobble to the kitchen for some more water- might save the planting for tomorrow when I can get down the stairs again!

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15 thoughts on “18 miles oh my”

  1. 🙂 love that Andy is there and understands.
    AND then ….. 18 miles = WOWZER brilliant, hope you are having a feet up cuppa tea right now xx

  2. WELL DONE that is AMAZING!! It’s obviously natural to be worried, but like you said, your mileage is going to keep increasing and you’ll get more used to the longer distances, so you will do GREAT when the marathon comes around 🙂

    CONGRATS again you are SO GREAT!! 😀

  3. I am so in awe of you right now, running 18miles is AMAZING! I’ve never gone past 13 miles myself and I still struggle to complete that, so your run today is truly an achievement in my eyes. I know what you mean about getting a little panicky about upcoming runs but I found that it’s all about your mental attitude and if you try to stay positive it actually makes the run easier. Banish those niggley worries because you’re awesome and you’re going to smash the marathon when it finally comes!!

  4. Wow, amazing feat, well done you!

    Just get a hot bubble bath and sit alone in a quiet dark room for a bit whenever you feel panicky just to calm yourself down.

    Our minds get in the way of too much sometimes and hinder our real abilities!

  5. Well done on that 18 miles, absolutely amazing and you should be so proud of yourself. I think having some nerves is understandable. Perhaps try some positive visualisation – when I did the GNR I kept visualising myself on the run and crossing the finish line and everything going well, I found that it calmed me down a bit and helped me focus. Your going to rock your marathon no matter what anyway – just think of how amazing you’ll feel when you’ve completed it!

  6. Running 18 miles for the first time is mentally draining and physically exhausting: there’s such an emotional build up, followed by a general feeling of deflation when it’s all over which is compounded by your body going into a minor level of shock at the increased physical challenge. It’s a bit like a mini-version of the post marathon blues, accentuated by the fact that you’re a naturally humble person with an element of self-doubt.

    Marathons on the day are a totally different experience to training runs: for my first marathon the long training run was horrible, yet the marathon itself, although the most testing thing I’ve ever done in terms of keeping my negative thoughts at bay, wasn’t half as bad as the build up to and anticipation of running it.

    You have it in you to run this marathon, but running is at least 70% mental: believe in yourself, and you can achieve all of your goals. Trite, but true!

    P.S My gym doesn’t open until late on a Saturday so I couldn’t have run there without my Mum cottoning on to what I was doing. And lots of people run 100 miles+ a week (http://marathonmaiden.wordpress.com/ for example) it’s just a case that I can’t get myself in check in other areas, and that affects my training negatively…have a lovely rest tomorrow!

  7. Well done you….that’s a brilliant run and if you are normally confident in your Nike+ then there is no reason why it would miscalculate today so I think perhaps you should be taking the 19 miles…..

    anyway, 18 or 19 it’s fantastic and you should take confidence that you now know for definite that the time limit is well within your limits

    Don’t underestimate the psychological stuff about knowing you are near the end making the last bit harder. I wonder if you’d benefit from taking some electrolytes. I’m sure they helped me with mine last week. I’m about to order some for the marathon and a whole pot is quite dear but I could post you enough for one long run if you fancy trying them????

    I also think that you might have to reconsider that cold bath……… :-p


  8. Lol at Andy’s “in 2 months this will all be over!”

    Seriously well done though Maria. These runs aren’t really supposed to be pleasant at this stage. You just fight through them to put the miles in. I was thinking about my 18 miler today actually, as I ended up on the route. And I remembered just how draining it was, to just keep plodding along in pain, and trying not to think too much about how much further I had to go, and how much more on top of that a marathon actually is.

    Your body will adapt and get stronger after this run — and the other LSRs. Just make sure you eat really well in the next couple of days, and don’t push too hard early next week. Lots of baking and eating tomorrow eh 🙂

  9. Thanks so much for all the comments guys- I am going to do some of the visualisation (thanks Laura), put my feet up lots (yes Lara, with tea of course) and yes Alison, eat lots today too 🙂
    Jessica what you said about the post marathon blues is kind of true in a way. You run all that way and don’t get a medal at the end!
    Rose I do have nuun in my water now which has electrolytes in it, but I would be interested to see how you get on using whatever you are going to.

  10. Excellent.

    Running 18 (or 19!) is the first step into really long run territory in my view and psychologically it’s a biggie for that reason.

    The long runs are incremental in terms of training effect. This one was fairly hard, now your body will adapt and then 20 will feel the same (BUT it’ll have taken 2 more miles to have that effect) and so on.

    You’re way ahead of 4hrs: 20 miles.

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