Yesterday marked our longest training run for the 2018 Space Coast Marathon that is right around the corner on November 25th. (We may squeeze in one more 20-miler next weekend, but that is still up in the air). This was also our longest run since we moved to our new house on the Silver Comet. I am really proud of us because it was pretty tough around mile 18 as the stiffness and soreness set in, being our longest run we have done probably since the Rock ’n’ Roll Nashville marathon in April.
Although it hurt in the process, I loved this run! Since it was the farthest we had run since moving to the Comet, we got to explore uncharted territory about 7 miles in. The adventurer in me comes out on our longer runs, and I love that feeling of seeing new places on foot. There is nothing better than trekking through cities and crossing county borders with nothing but your own two legs. The featured photo is from one of our longest runs on the Silver Comet a couple years back when we made it out 11 miles and it started snowing at the turn-around point. It was not much, but it was beautiful and unexpected.
Normally on our long training runs, my husband and I will have some conversation (because we are running at a comfortable conversational pace 😉) and take-away for that day. We did not have many this time around; most of them having to do with the diverse landscapes and new terrain (we saw where the very first foot of the Silver Comet Trail was constructed in 1998!). We got to chatting about how our long runs used to feel in the past, specifically how horrible and painful our first 10-miler was. Then we got to wondering just how much of that was in our minds versus the physical limits of our bodies at the time, and we decided it was probably a little of both. Of course, our cardiovascular health has probably come a long way since that first 10-miler in 2014 (a training run we both did for my first half-marathon and first race on my own sans husband), but I think it has a lot to do with our confidence. Now we know that we can run marathons, and we have built up that confidence by signing up and running several of them over the past couple of years because you cannot improve at something unless you devote everything you’ve got to it.
I am so glad we crushed those 20 miles yesterday. My calves are sore and my hips ache, but it was our fastest 20-miler to-date, and it feels so good to know we are getting closer to race day. Happy Monday!