Yesterday, I ran with two women for the first time for my last long run before the ING Miami marathon. My goal was 20 miles if I was feeling great but at minimum 18. One woman needed to run 15-16 miles since she was kicking off her Boston Marathon training and the other was running an easy 11. Everybody wanted to get some hill work in during the run so we went to Clearwater for some Florida hills.
The woman training for Boston had similar pace goals in mind as me, so we stuck together and chatted about different things while getting to know each other. It’s amazing how time flies over 2 hours when you have somebody next to you.
I took a gel every 6 miles and will probably do that for my race since my stomach starts to act up with more than 4 gels and I didn’t fade throughout the run. My nutrition of choice for the past few years has been Hammer (I love Raspberry and Montana Huckleberry). I’m not sponsored by Hammer, I just agree with their research, product quality, and business practices and to me, it’s one of the few gels that isn’t too sugary.
As we settled into a pace, we inquired about personal bests and how we got into triathlons or running. Her marathon was faster than mine and my half marathon was faster than hers. When she found out my half marathon time, she immediately tries to nicely convince me to pace her to a PR at the Naples Daily News Half Marathon next Sunday. The race wasn’t on my radar but slowly she kept persuading me how it would be fun race and a great “tempo run” two weeks out from my upcoming marathon.
Guess who signed up for a half marathon at 11:30 last night? Yup…I caved to peer pressure. We are going to shoot for a 1:42:00 which is about 7:47 min/mile pace on a flat course. Should be fun!
The 15 miles with my running friend went really well and we went over a two different causeways several times and averaged 8:40 min/mile with the hills. She got coffee with the other woman while I finished up my last 4 miles and I was encouraged that my pace stayed between 8:30-8:40 min/mile without somebody beside me. My legs felt a little sore after the run but overall there were no major aches and pains.
This morning I ran an easy 4 miles with no difficulty and feel more encouraged for my upcoming race. The revised plan is to stay with the 3:45 pace group (8:35 min/mile). The pace doesn’t worry me for the first 20 miles. The last 6 miles, however, have been difficult for me in the past and there’s no way to tell, in my mind, if my legs and fitness are strong enough to not hit that wall again.
Have you given into peer pressure recently with racing or training? How do you know you’re marathon ready?
On a side note, I really enjoyed reading the comments from my World of Opportunities post about graduating nursing school. It was really encouraging hearing other people’s career search stories and it sounds like some people are still searching. Thank you for the responses.