Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Last Long Run Before the Marathon

Yesterday I ran my last long, long run before the St. Jude Marathon, which is three weeks from yesterday.  The tapering begins today!  I was joined by Jimmy, Lynn, Kelly, Esther, Heather, and Dorothy.  We had such a fun day!  Yes!  Running long distances can be fun!

We combined a local half-marathon race with our 9 miles to get a total of 22 for our longest long run before the marathon.  We met 2 hours before the half-marathon start time yesterday morning, and ran around East Tupelo for 8.9 miles.  Lynn and I stayed together the entire time, and we finished our 8.9 just as a lady was singing the National Anthem.  She finished, the gun fired, and we were off!  Nothing like beginning a half-marathon already hot and sweaty!

Lynn and I were pleasantly surprised by our 8.9 mile run pace (we stopped at 8.9 because the half-marathon distance is 13.1, and we only wanted to run 22 miles, not a step more!).  Our average pace was 9:46, which is pretty speedy for us for a long run.  I think we were motivated for two reasons.  1.  We were running with our fast friends.  2.  We were trying to get all 8.9 miles in before the race began.

By mile 5 or 6 of the half-marathon (which was mile 14 or 15 of our total run), I was wiped out.  Really tired.  Running at the pace we had earlier had taken its toll on me.  But we kept on!  I choked down two mint chocolate gus during the race, and I think the second one at mile 10 perked me up.  Jimmy and Heather (who finished the half-marathon around 1 hour, 40 minutes) ran back to help Lynn and me finish.  It is ALWAYS encouraging for me when Jimmy runs the last couple of miles with me in a long race.  They talked and pulled us along.  Heather entertained us with her recap of throwing up three times in the last half mile of the race.  Three times!  Yes, she ran that hard!

We finished in a respectable time of 2 hours, 11 minutes.  That's a 9:59 pace.  When we added that to our 8.9 previous miles, our overall average pace for 22 miles was 9:51.  We were so happy!  I am not sure if we can repeat that pace or keep it up for 26.2 miles, but we are definitely encouraged that we can meet our goal of under 5 hours at St. Jude.  We just want our time to have a 4 in the hours place.

Olivia, Julie, Clay, and their friend Martha also ran the half-marathon.  They are all training for the St. Jude Half, and they ran one mile before the race for a total of 14 miles for their training run.  This was Clay's 1st half-marathon, and his first time to run this far.  He finished in 1 hour, 53 minutes!  That was 4th in his age group of 19 and under.  Martha and Julie finished in 1 hour 55 minutes, and Olivia in 1 hour 56 minutes (a PR for Olivia--her 6th half-marathon!).  Martha, Julie, and Olivia won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the 19 and under age group.  Go girls!  These children have been doing their long runs together, and they plan on running the St. Jude race together as well.

The rest of the day was exhausting.  We hobbled around and enjoyed the post-race, BBQ, and a massage.  We also met an online friend from Daily Mile (kind of like a facebook for exercisers).  It was fun to actually meet Greg H. in real life.  He is training for the St. Jude marathon too.  After hanging around a while I rushed home to take Leah and Sam to a birthday party.  Home again for 30 minutes, and then our entire family left again to attend our family Bible study at 6:00.  When I got home last night, I put the children to bed and was in bed myself at 9:00.  That may be a record for me---getting in bed that early!  I slept soundly, and I think I can walk today!

My next two weeks of marathon training are:

  • 44 total miles with a long run of 17, medium of 10, and 17 other miles
  • 35 total miles with a long run of 15, medium of 7, and 13 other miles
  • Then marathon week!  Monday-4 miles, Tuesday-3 miles, Saturday-26.2 miles!
When I complete this marathon, I am taking a break!


  1. You amaze me! I think running with C25K is an accomplishment! I wonder if I will ever be there with you....? Good luck!