Marathon Training: 19 Miler!

Good morning! As I mentioned, I’m in Canada on a press trip right now (check out my Instagram and Twitter to see what I’m up to!), but I wanted to pop in and share a recap of my latest long run!

You know what the most awesome thing about marathon training is, besides getting to be outside on a pretty day for hours? Every week you hit a new personal distance record (PDR). On Sunday, I ran 19 miles for the first time ever!

If you’re new to the blog, I’m training for the Richmond Marathon – my first full marathon! Less than 2 months until show time. 🙂

On Sunday, my training buddies Kathleen, Rachel, and I had fabulous weather for the run. Clear, cool, and sunny!

We met down on the national mall and set off from there for the 19 miler. We had a loooong way to go!

We decided to run up through Rock Creek Park for this week’s run. It’s such a beautiful place to run, and nice and shady, too.

On the weekends, some of the roads in Rock Creek are closed to traffic – bikers and runners/walkers only. So nice!

Blurry shot of my running buddies in action:

The three of us had a really nice time chatting away and enjoying the scenery. I have to say, I was kind of nervous about 19 miles, but the time went by really quickly with good company by my side, nice views, and pretty weather! Before I knew it, we were at mile 9.5 turning back to make our return.

For fuel during this run, I started with an espresso Hammer Gel around mile 4 and finished it by around mile 7. After that, every couple miles I ate a margarita Shot Blok (these taste so good when you’re sweaty – love the salty/sweet combo). I also was rocking my Nathan HPL #020 hydration vest as per usual for water. I drank almost the whole 2 liters that the pack holds on this run.

On the past couple super long runs we’ve done, near the end I’ve been craving real food vs. gels or chews, so for this run I decided to experiment with a little real food to see how it went stomach-wise. Around mile 14, when I started to crave something more substantial, I broke out a chewy Cascadian Farm trail mix bar. I chose this bar in particular because it’s chewy vs. hard (easier to eat while running) and in terms of nutrition, it’s mostly carbs – not a lot of fiber, fat, or protein. Before and while actually out on a run, you want to eat things that are more easily digested (e.g. simple carbs/sugars) vs. things high in fiber, fat, or protein which are harder/slower to digest.

I’m happy to report that I didn’t have any problems after eating the granola bar. It tasted SO GOOD to have some real food at this point in the run, and it really gave me an extra boost. I think I’ll continue to incorporate these bars near the end of our really long runs. My stomach felt better after the run, too, compared to after other long runs. Total win!

Our legs were all feeling tired for the last few miles but we had such pretty views of the water as we ran back towards the mall, so that helped us to push through. What a gorgeous day!

My running coach Mary has encouraged me to try to do close to race pace (~9:00 min/miles) for the last couple miles of a long run, so we picked up the pace for the last bit of the run. Yay! Great splits for this one – faster than last week’s 17 miler!

Splits:

  • Mile 1: 8:45
  • Mile 2: 8:58
  • Mile 3: 9:33
  • Mile 4: 9:55
  • Mile 5: 10:19
  • Mile 6: 10:06
  • Mile 7: 9:47
  • Mile 8: 9:47
  • Mile 9: 9:37
  • Mile 10: 9:23
  • Mile 11: 9:22
  • Mile 12: 8:59
  • Mile 13: 9:33
  • Mile 14: 9:36
  • Mile 15: 9:54
  • Mile 16: 9:45
  • Mile 17: 9:14
  • Mile 18: 9:20
  • Mile 19: 8:59

Man, these mile by mile split pace breakout lists are getting long! 🙂 Overall time: 3:01:02. Average pace: 9:31 minute/mile. Great run! It was a little hilly on the way out, which you can tell in our pace – nice to have a little slight downhill on the way back!

I can’t believe that 19 miles went so well – it was hard but not insane and I was tired after, but not totally dead. I was worried when we started the run because my quads were pretty sore from CrossFit on Saturday, but thankfully it ended up being fine. I was definitely even more sore when we were done, though! A lot more sore than I was after last week’s long run.

When I got home (apologies to anyone who was on the metro with my gross and sweaty self…), I braced myself for another ice bath. I did my first one last weekend, as I mentioned, and I think it really helped with recovery and soreness. I didn’t have a ton of ice so it was more of a cold bath than an ice bath again, but that seems to work fine. I filled the tub to my waist and sat in it for 15 minutes (while enjoying some recovery chocolate milk!) before showering. Easier than sitting around with ice packs all day! Brrrr…

Next up on the docket for marathon training is a 20 miler next weekend. Ack! 20 sounds scarier than 19, for some reason… but we’re ready for it, I think. 🙂 After that, we get a step down week (12 miles as our long run) before doing another 20 miler and then peaking at a 22 miler. If all goes well, we should be well prepared for 26.2 in November… fingers crossed!

How is your fall running going? Any good training runs or race triumphs to report?

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