Marathon #8 Training: Long Run Saturdays (14-miler)

Countdown to St. Jude Memphis Marathon: 12 weeks

Long Run Saturday: 14 miles

Training Plan: Hal Higdon Novice II

So, I have this amazing life long goal of running 50 marathons in 50 states. The St. Jude Marathon will be Marathon #8 overall and my third marathon of the year. Running three marathons in a year was never my plan, but when work sent me to New York in June, I had to add a marathon into the work trip. The timing of my marathons this year has been spaced out: February, June, and December. I have been able to scale back the mileage in between training for each marathon which has given me a little extra recovery time, not like in 2015 when I ran two marathons two weekends apart.

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Blurry because I know how awesome I look at 5am on a Saturday attempting a long run.

Long run Saturdays are both miserable and wonderful. There is always dread about the miles that await me and the fact that I will start my run at o-dark thirty in the morning. Yes, I have been known to get up at 3 am in an effort to be done by 7 am and wake the girls up for soccer, softball or whatever Saturday morning event awaits us. There is also the wonderful feeling of completing the miles and getting to eat extra calories that day and the wonderful feeling of earning a guilt-free well deserved Saturday afternoon nap.

I am going to attempt to explain the feeling of a 14-miler in the big picture of marathon training. The 14-miler still feels good, you feel great because you know you could have knocked out a half marathon that morning if asked, and it is just far enough that nutrition doesn’t become a big deal. The 14-miler is still in the honeymoon phase, where you cover more distance than when you aren’t training and it feels exciting without too much hurting. At 14-miles, my feet feel tired-but don’t ache, my toes rub-but don’t get blisters, and I don’t have to focus on maintaining pace.

There is one clear thing that has suffered in my running life as a result of the decision to run three marathons in a year. That thing would be my pace. Logging the miles and the time can at times be grueling and I have not come close to a PR and notice that my pace coming into this last training phase is a bit slower than where I want to be. Initially, I thought my pace would faster from all the miles, but not so much.

As always, huge thank you to my sponsor, Complete Nutrition Tallahassee, who has kept me healthy, strong, and accountable this year.

For all you marathoners out there, when do you start to feel it on the long runs? When does the “hard” settle in?

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1 Comment

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