Road to Chicago Marathon: My 8.5 mile long run

Last Sunday was my long run.  On my plan, I have to  run at least 8 miles.  The course I layed out happened to be 8.5 miles.  Having just come back from a cruise where the primary activity was eating, I knew I had to take the run easy.  So I did. 

Since the run was long, I decided to bring a mini-water bottle which I held in my left hand for the entire run.  I took a sip of water at about every two miles.

The pace I ran–about 9:15 per mile–I think will be my marathon pace.  At this pace, I’m not gasping for air, but am able to breath comfortably.  I was doing pretty good, even at mile 4.   Even at the 6 mile mark, I was able to run uphill (on the Union Ave freeway overpass).  However, what I found is that after mile 7, I started noticing that my legs were getting sore.  I wasn’t tired, but needed to focus more on my form to ensure that the most minute sloppy movement doesn’t cause more problems.

Within the last half mile, I was able to increase my stride and finish the 8.5 mile run strong.  I then drank what was left in my mini-water bottle.

As I finished the run, I thought to myself…”this is just less than a third of a marathon…can I do this run 2 more times?”

The pessimist in me said “my legs are sore, I don’t think I’ll last”, but the optimist in me said “hey, I think I can make the entire marathon!  I’m not even tired.  My legs are sore, but with training, it will be better.”  So I listened and leaned more towards the optimist in me.


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