My husband and I were dog-sitting today over at a friend's house, so I decided to plot my route from their house instead of from my own. At first, I was planning the normal long route, but then I thought about my friends' neighborhood, with its straightforward grid-like blocks, and then I plotted out what was essentially a track loop that was 1.6 miles.
1.6 X 10 laps = 16 miles
I figured I'd give it a try. The advantage of trying this was that I wouldn't be far in case I had another spill or if I got tired and couldn't finish. Plus, by running by their house in each lap, I had an easy pit stop.
The first 8 miles went really well and I was feeling great, but then in 9 and 10, I started tightening up and feeling tired; also, the track idea was beginning to feel monotonous. In one way, it was mentally advantageous because the distance was broken down into very conceivable, easy distances, but after passing the same stuff for the upteenth time, I was beginning to feel bored. The last 3 laps were hard, and the last lap, the last 1.6 miles, was brutal. It was a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other effort and I had to walk part of it. But I finished. As far as the upper body (i.e. lung capacity, stomach sensitivity), I was feeling just fine. But the lower body (i.e. my hips, knees, ankles, and feet) was stiff and sore by the end. My right hip and left knee were particularly aching; plus, a blister developed on my already bruised second-in-command toe.
After showering and eating, I now feel pretty darn good, tired, but good. However, I have mixed feelings about meeting the distance. On the one hand, it felt great to accomplish that mileage, but on the other, I'm thinking about how tired I was at the end and how the marathon will be another 10.2 miles in addition to that 16. But I guess I just have to be confident that when it comes time for the race, I'll be able to get it done.
For now, I'm glad to get that 16 miler done. This week's long run is a little easier, 12 miles, but then next week it's the big 18.