19 miles is a hell of a long run, and other training thoughts

I ran 19 miles today. In a row. Using my own two legs. I didn’t die. I’m exhausted. I’m sore. I’m elated.

I ran the PaceSetters Race for Home 10K to start the day. It was a great race, even with the hills. I loved running around the outfield to end it. I’m still waiting to get official results, but according to my RunMeter app, I PR’ed at about 58:00. I had a 9:35 pace the entire way. Hot damn, self.

I then headed to Neenah to run the other 13 with Alex and Brenda (who have been rock star running buddies this season). I think changing locations and running on the trail was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Mentally, it was a nice break, and physically, it was great for my legs. After that, though, all I really wanted to do was eat everything in sight and sleep for the rest of the day.

What else is new? This is the reason I’m not enjoying marathon training. I’m so tired, all the time. On my long run days, I do two things: run, and sleep. I have too much of a life to do this. There is a house to clean, laundry, ironing, grocery shopping, cooking, reading, SQL stuff, friends…a life. Yet every Thursday, I crash when I get home from work, and crash in bed at 8:30 or 9:00. I’m useless on my long run day. I have a cross-training day and a rest day to recover, but then I’m running again.

I could sustain this pace. If I wanted to. If I wanted to give up other things. I don’t want to. I will be glad to run this race, get my medal, get my tattoo, and go back to half marathons. At least for the time being. Perhaps life will change in a year or ten.

But oh, what this marathon training has done for me. I was a solid 10:30-11:00 minute/mile runner up until two months ago. Now, I’m regularly breaking – and sustaining – 10:00 minute miles. I can pace myself, too – at 9:45, 10:00, 10:30, and 11:00. That’s a huge step for me, as a runner. To know that I can dial in a pace and just do it. I hope that stays with me. It’s also forced me to rethink other things I am involved with, and step pack from a few I’m not truly passionate about.

May is going to be wonderful.

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