Running update: My 18-mile splits, or: “You can bend me, you can break me, but you better stand clear…”

So I completed my first 18-mile run over the weekend. Unfortunately I had to do it solo, as we hit a friend’s wedding in Bokeelia from Friday through Sunday, so I was without the support of my awesome running compadres in FIT. Now that I train with a group, I have no idea how I ever managed to do it without them. Doing this by myself was tedious and (dare I say?) a bit lonely? Perish the thought. I’m supposed to be a loner, right? RIGHT?

Anyway, 18 miles is my longest distance to date, so I’m pretty pleased over that accomplishment. The thought of layering on another 8 miles on top of that isn’t so much frightfully intimidating as it is the Ground Zero of all my Superpowers of Denial.

Anyway… so I did 18 miles in 03:24:54, at an average pace of 11:19 and burning off 3,133 calories (shyeah…). Here’s da splits, courtesy of me lovely Garmin:

Our Garmin, which art on my wrist, forgive my slamming into the Mile 17 Wall…

I had no preconceptions on how I wanted this to go down. If it’s a new long distance goal, you generally just want to finish upright and strong. Strangely enough, I was able to maintain a mostly consistent pace. At least until Mile 17, where if you squint enough you can see the not-so-faint outline of the actual wall I slammed into. Those last two miles were pretty rough. My breathing was fine, my energy levels seemed solid, but I simply could not will my body to move any faster than it was going.

No matter. I finished. I’ll take it.

There’s still plenty of speed work and daily conditioning to be done over the next month, but long runs for the rest of the training period include two more 12-milers and a 21-mile behemoth on 12/22. And then, that’s it until showtime. Am I going to do it in costume? I’m actually considering it…

If you're reading this blog, YOU'RE AWESOME! Let me hear your thoughts.