Ran My First 18 Miler in the Fog and Drizzle

P5030008A huge first for me – I ran 18 miles in one run. What a feeling of accomplishment! Yes, I know I’m going to be running a marathon next month but it’s really empowering to know I can go out and do 18 now.

Yes, I was tired and I didn’t do much that evening. My legs are sore and I did my recovery run today rather than yesterday. Instead I walked a bit, did upper body strength and stretched my lower half out with some yoga.

Today’s recovery run was tough and it was slow. Well recovery runs aren’t supposed to be speedy. I did feel like my gait was off, especially with my right leg. I stopped to stretch along the way and I used the foam roller while dinner was cooking. I’ll be icing it in a bit as well.

It was pouring when I woke up and it was cold. The forecast was for light showers in the afternoon and happily my running partner was fine with running later.

What got me through the run? A few things. I was smart about hydration the day prior and the morning of my run. I made sure to eat enough carbs to keep me full but not make me feel bloated. I took my nutrition with me and made sure to take it early and regularly. I also varied what I was having: chews, a gel and a Honey Stinger Waffle. The waffle is like eating a thin cookie and I LOVE it. (a little too much truth be told – I don’t keep many on hand so I only use them for runs rather than snacking away on them)

I visualized running strong and completing the 18 miles. I read a post that the brain cannot tell the difference between an event that actually happened and one we imagined happening. Visualize finishing a race and feeling good and your brain thinks it actually happened. I’m hoping this really lessens my pre-race jitters!

The biggest motivator on my run was my friend who met me for the last 9 miles. She knew I was a little tired and was easy-going about our pace. She kept up a nice conversation and didn’t get offended if I wasn’t overly chatty back. I was very grateful that she came out in the drizzle and getting me through that run!

How do you motivate yourself on a long run?

Do you prefer to run alone or with someone?

What’s your favorite nutrition when running?