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Last Long Run, Next Stop Marathon!

This morning I ran my LAST double-digit long run of Marine Corps Marathon training. Next week I will run eight and then the next weekend is the race! The 16 weeks of training have been a journey but I can honestly say that it has been an enjoyable one (despite the two-week hamstring hiatus).

New to the blog? Here are some marathon training highlight posts…
Training Plan Announcement: Marnie Corps Marathon Training Program
My First Long Run: First MCM Long Run
My First Speed Workout
Finally Finding My Marathon Motivation
Atlanta Long Run – 12 Miles
Myrtle Beach Long Run – 14 Miles
A Beautiful 16 Miles
Dealing With Injury: Everything Has Changed, Absolutely Nothing’s Changed
Overcoming Injury: Jumping for Joy
Overcoming Injury: The Race is ON
My Triumphant Return: Tackling 20

And back to today’s run. I fueled the way I always do.

Peanut butter, honey and banana on Great Harvest Flax Oat Bran. One cup of black coffee on the side.

I tried something new on my long run today.

Compression sleeves. My calves and achilles have been really tight ever since my 20-miler. My friend Sarah wore compression sleeves for the Tahoe Marathon a few weeks ago and said she really thought they helped. It’s proven that they help with recovery if you wear them after the run but the verdict is still out on what they actually do for you on the run.

I personally could feel a huge difference in my legs this morning. My calves and achilles felt a million times better wearing the sleeves. I will definitely be wearing them on race day. I also wore them for a few  hours post long run.

I started my long runs the way I’ve started most throughout my training, with Sullie.

We ran the first three miles together. I will miss her on race day! 😉 I ditched the vest after the first three miles and geared up with my Fuel Belt, Gu’s and iPod for the next 13.

As the miles ticked by, I couldn’t help but reflect on my running history – everything from my first half marathon to my first marathon to my first sub 2-hour half. I definitely got a little emotional thinking about it all. I am just insanely happy and excited that I’m going to be lining up at the starting line of the Marine Corps Marathon in TWO WEEKS!

Before I knew it, it was over.

16.21 miles in 2:28:52. I hit the half (13.1) at 1:59:23. My average pace was 9:11. I took a Gu at mile 8.5 and mile 13. I didn’t really need the Gu at mile 13 but I plan on taking them at 8, 14 and 20 on race day and wanted to make sure my stomach is ready for it.

I immediately assumed this position when I got home.

And then got myself upright and smiled for a picture.

After a quick stretch I showered and dressed. We had plans to meet our friends David and Ashley for lunch and Georgia game watching (we won – shut out Vandy! Go Dawgs!). They’re in town for a wedding. Ashley just signed up for her first marathon – she’s running the Country Music Marathon in Nashville in the spring so we had a great time chatting about running over lunch.

Beverage trifecta.

And lunch.

I had to create my own lunch. There were not many meatless options on the menu so I asked the waitress if the kitchen could just put whatever vegetables they had into a cheese quesadilla. It turned out to be delicious – lots of peppers, squash, zucchini and onions. guacamole (mmm…avocados), salsa and sour cream on the side.

I did something that I very rarely do when we got home from lunch – napped. It was fabulous. I am tired and sore. We are trying to figure out what we’re going to do for dinner tonight and just relaxing. I have a crazy yoga workshop all day tomorrow. More info about that to come and hopefully pictures and maybe video! I’m so excited about it but I need to rest up and try to knock out this soreness!

Hope you’re all having a great weekend!

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Claudie October 16, 2010, 8:19 pm

    I can’t wait to hear how you’ll perform at the marathon — though I’m sure it’s going to be great! Having followed your training, it seems to me you are 1000% ready (and that is 1000%, no typo!).

    Question about the compression sleeves: don’t they “heat” your legs? I would try wearing some, but I overheat extremely quickly when I run so I try to have as little clothing on me as possible…

    • Jen October 18, 2010, 2:32 pm

      Claudie – thank you so much for your kind comment. It totally brought a smile to my face when it popped up in my inbox on Saturday night. I feel like it’s been a long four months to get to this point and I am just so happy to have wrapped up training on such a high note.

      The compression sleeves did warm my legs but it was in the 40s when I started my run so it was actually nice to have them. I could definitely see where they would be very uncomfortable in warmer temperatures.

  • Dan Johnson October 17, 2010, 2:35 pm

    I’m still gearing up for the Thunder Road Marathon. I’ve been doing the 16 week training that you suggested. 14 mile run last week was the longest I’d ever done. I think I’m going to give the compression things a try because my calves get quite tight as well. Good luck with the Marathon. I’m shooting for 4.5 hours for my first but would love to hit 4 hours.


    • Jen October 18, 2010, 2:18 pm

      Dan – SO GREAT to hear from you and happy to hear that your training for Thunder Road is going well so far. I do recommend trying the compression sleeves. Even if you find that you don’t like to run in them, they are awesome for recovery. My calves feel ten times better now than they have for a month after wearing them during and after last weekend’s long run.

      I’m trying to figure out what my time goal is for MCM. I will be happy with anything around or under 4:15 (which would be a 30 minute PR from my first marathon) but would be absolutely thrilled if I came in closer to 4 hrs! I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself though because I want to enjoy the race and feel good!

      Keep me posted on how your training is coming along!!!

  • runnerstrials October 17, 2010, 8:53 pm

    Congrats! I am so happy you ended long runs on a high note. It’s amazing how much this training has turned around for you 🙂 You will rock MCM! And yay for the nap, too!

    • Jen October 18, 2010, 2:15 pm

      Thank you, Jen. I honestly didn’t know if I’d make it to this day after my history with injury and the hamstring set back. I feel extremely grateful that my body is allowing me to finish up my training so strongly. Now I have to deal with the taper craziness…which I’m already experiencing. 😉

  • Jody Rae October 18, 2010, 12:36 pm

    I just purchased a pair of compression sleeves too a few weeks ago. I’ve worn them on 2 16 mile runs and my longest run, 22 miles. I am a super huge fan of wearing them after my runs. As soon as I’ve had my ice bath and showered, the sleeves go back on and stay on until the following morning. I was completely floored when I woke up the day after my 22 mile run and my legs/joints felt like they could go for a run. I’m definitely a believer in them for recovery and like wearing them during the long runs too.

  • Brittney October 18, 2010, 6:50 pm

    Great job with your training Jen! Can’t wait to hear how the MCM goes!!!
    I need to try the compression sleeves. I mainly have soreness/weakness in my knees and things after running (not my calves), but it’d be interesting to see how they feel anyway.

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