the day did not start as i would have liked, with a leisurely breakfast and time to actually think while packing my bag.
instead, i had accidentally fallen back asleep after shutting off my alarm...and woke up at 6:37 - 13 minutes before i had to be on the upper westside. [insert expletives of your choice here - i'm pretty sure i used them all.] i threw my clothes on, tossed a pile of stuff in my bag, put on my brand, spanking new sneakers, put some peanut butter on some almost-stale bread and tore out of my apartment to get a cab.
thankfully, i was not the only person that was late, so i didn't get left behind. at about 7:15 we packed into cars and headed out to jersey. the more we got into the suburbs...the colder it got. of course, i don't have running pants yet, and this made me a little nervous, but ramon reassured me i'd be fine once i started running.
i don't know if it's because i didn't have charlotte there, or because it was a few days of rest, it could have been the new shoes & great weather or just some peppy tunes on the ipod, but i was *cruising*. while this may seem good, it usually turns against you. the whole strategy behind running a marathon is to "save some for the end". now, i didn't feel like i was pushing all that hard. but when i got to the 6th mile and it had only been an hour, (holy crap! i'm running 10 minute miles!) i got a little nervous.
i typically *average* a 12-minute mile for a long run, and i know i usually start slower...so i was going way faster than a normal first-6-miles pace. i tried to turn it down, but i don't think i did that until about mile 12.5 - and that's when i really started to feel it.
my left quad was really mad at me and very crampy. and then my tummy turned against me and i basically ran the last 7.5 miles with a stomach ache (owe).
but...i still finished in less than 4 hours - 3hours and 50 minutes, which means the average was about an 11m30sec mile. and today, today i'm not that sore. i'm really happy with the run, although i didn't feel as great as the 18 miler when i finished, i learned a few things:
1. be careful about pacing. the coaches are right
2. i *can* be faster, and i'm probably stronger than i think
3. this is not something to experiment with now, but for the next marathon
so 26.2 is in sight. i know i can do it, i think it will just come down to how much i can enjoy it - and after that run, i think i've realized i'd rather have fun and cross the finish line with a smile rather than a wince.
yesterday's mileage: 20
mileage to date: 302.5
days to marathon: 26
ps - the neighbor i was "borrowing" my wireless connection from just put a password on, so connection is dicey - if i'm not posting as often, that is why...i'll try to get back on sooner than later!