Only 17.67?

The marathon training is progressing.  Today’s 18 mile run was doable, though it has left me a bit sore.  It’s the first run that I’ve gotten through, though, where I looked at my GPS watch after the run and was bummed that we didn’t go quite far enough.  Back-story: usually when the Striders say we’re doing N, we’re really doing N + at least 1/2 a mile.  The first day we ran, we ran a ten mile run.  On the way back up the hills that lead back to the starting point, I watched the mileage markers put on the road very carefully: 2 miles.  1 mile.  0 miles?!!!   (Note that I was not yet back to the starting point.)  Turns out that 0 mile marker is about a 1/2 mile into the run.  So when we run 10 miles, we really run 10 plus the .5 on the way out, plus the .5 on the way back. 

 In today’s run, we hit some hard hills.  I hate hills.  In fact, I’ve often decided to walk a good part of a hill up, on the theory that the Marine Corp is flat (mostly) and I still have to make it those last miles back to the start, so ’tis wiser to walk.  But even walking up steep or long hills takes it out of you.  At the top of a particularly steep hill, my watch marked me at 13 and change.  The next mile marker I hit listed us as 6 miles out, putting the total distance at at least 19.5 (remember that extra .5 to get to 0).   I wasn’t liking life right about then.  I was on roads that were new to me, running my longest run ever, and it had suddenly gotten longer.  As we got farther along the course, though, it became clear that that 6 mile marker was wrong.  The first indicator was that, after running a mile, the mile marker went to 7, instead of 5.  The second was when we looped back around on the course to familiar terrain, and got there much more quickly than should have happened given a 6 mile marker. 

When I finally got back to my car and pressed “Stop” on the Garmin, my watch read 17.67 miles.  First time I’ve been bummed that we didn’t go farther.  Jason asked why I didn’t just go out and run till I hit 18 on the watch.  In my 17.67(!) mile tired leg and brain state, it frankly never even occurred to me. 

So, stats for the day: 3 hours 14 minutes 31 seconds to run 17.67 miles, with an average pace of 11.01/m.  That’s slower than my norm, but includes walking up those lousy hills.  My watch gave me some other interesting stats: since I’ve had my watch, I’ve logged 125.9 miles, some 25+ hours, and 15285 calories.  I’ve done other running without the watch on the gym or home treadmill, so count all those numbers as the low end.  Think I’ll have to treat myself somehow when I hit 250 miles.  That should happen easily sometime in early October.

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