Today was our 18 miler. It was supposed to be tomorrow, but with the AWFUL weather we’ve been having, we decided to take advantage of the fact that it was finally not raining and get it done today. I’m glad we did – it’s supposed to rain all weekend.

It’s always so hard for those first couple miles. I never used to have a hard time warming up, but once I started marathon training and increasing my distance, it started taking me longer and longer to warm up on a run. Now I’m at the point where I feel horrible for the first four or five miles, but after that I feel great and I can just run and run. It seems to happen to a lot of people – very weird.

I’ve never noticed how hilly our area is, but it seems like every time we turn a corner, there’s another hill to tackle. But that’s great training and it makes us better runners. It’s just killer when you’re actually going UP the hill. There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get in your legs when you crest the top of a hill though. It’s like your quads just say “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.”

So here’s the splits (I finally uploaded my Garmin! I haven’t done that since before Halloween!):

Mile 1: 10:36
Mile 2: 10:25
Mile 3: 10:18
Mile 4: 10:36
Mile 5: 10:26
Mile 6: 10:32
Mile 7: 10:36
Mile 8: 10:28
Mile 9: 10:41
Mile 10: 11:15 (hills)
Mile 11: 10:48
Mile 12: 10:40
Mile 13: 10:48
Mile 14: 11:29
Mile 15: 11:31
Mile 16: 10:50
Mile 17: 10:58
Mile 18: 10:16 (finishing strong)

So it was 18 miles at a 10:44/mile pace. It felt good, and very comfortable. I’m aiming for a low- or sub-10:00/mile pace come race day. I’ve been feeling very comfortable with my faster runs and have been doing runs around 9:30 or 9:45/mile without a problem. I definitely slow down a bit on the long runs, but I could definitely sustain that pace for quite a while. So I’ll see how I feel that day and go from there.

That’s it for now, I’m off to watch the Sabres game.

Happy Friday!