When I got out of bed yesterday morning, I felt creaky and sore. My hams and quads felt tight. My lower back hurt. In fact, my whole body hurt.
But I had 16 miles to run. Grumbling, I got up, ate breakfast, stretched ... then procrastinated. I walked the dog. I read the Sunday paper. I took a long, hot shower. Finally at 10:15 a.m., I hit the road.
To say that I wasn't looking forward to running is the understatement of the year. Little dark thunderclouds hung over my head. What am I doing this for?! After almost 3/4 of a mile, I noticed that my Garmin wasn't working. #$*!@&%!! It took almost 10 minutes of fiddling to fix it. I decided to start over. Then I set off again, in an even blacker mood.
Somewhere around Mile 3, I decided that I had to run at least 6 of the 16 miles at marathon pace (8:45/mile) if I was going to perform half-way decently at the MCM. I already hurt. What's a little more pain?
Mile 1: 9:18
Mile 2: 9:44
Mile 3: 9:34
Mile 4: 9:19
Mile 5: 9:28
Mile 6: 8:43 (Here we go!)
Mile 7: 8:33
Mile 8.3: 7:52 (Not sure what happened to the mile markers from here on out.)
Mile 9.3: 8:40
Mile 10.3: 8:33
Mile 11.3: 8:18
Mile 12.3: 8:45
Mile 13.3: 8:38
Mile 14.3: 8:48
Mile 15.3: 8:24
Mile 16: 8:15
Yeaaaahh, baby! I ended the run feeling great and in a much happier mood. Final time: 2:22:13. Total average pace: 8:49/mile, though the pace from Miles 6-16 averaged around 8:25/mile.
How did I run much faster than I did in the the 20-mile race last Sunday? I finally realized that no matter what, running a marathon hurts, and pacing yourself slowly too slowly just prolongs the pain. My body can do the race. My mind is finally starting to follow.
Now if I can only figure out how to drink Gatorade and eat Gu without stopping, I will be golden.