An 18 Mile Long Run In Paris Marathon Training – My Longest Run So Far This Year!
So I finally did it! I recorded an 18 mile marathon training run for the first time this year.
It was tough going, but I hammered out 18.2 miles in 3 hours and 7 minutes. I wanted to give up many, many times but I kept thinking back to all of the donations I’ve received in the past week and now I know I can’t let anyone down!
A very tough run.
I had planned on travelling into Belfast for it and running in some parkland, but I spent half an hour waiting for a train that wasn’t due to arrive.
It turned out the trains were off due to some construction work on the line, so I had to either run into Belfast and face industrial hell in Sailortown, or run my out and back route along the country road.
I chose the out and back route.
The run was OK for the first 10 miles as the wind was at my back. At the 9 mile mark it started snowing and it was beautiful (largely because the wind was at my back and the snowflakes were fluttering past me).
It was only when I turned back into the wind that it got significantly more difficult.
From mile 11 onwards I was running into what seemed like a full on fucking blizzard. I had to keep my head pointed downwards as it was getting insane with pain.
At mile 15 I was that fatigued that I tripped over my own legs just as a police car drove past. This was frightening, mainly because I was off balance and I could have easily fallen onto a road where cars regularly do 50 mph.
The last thing I need is a fucking Volvo driving over my head. Given the size of my skull the Volvo would definitely come off worse, but I don’t want to risk a fucking concussion at this point of training.
Why this week’s run was better.
It may have been tough, but I had enough in the tank to get me by. Here are a few points on why it went much better than my 15 miler last time.
- I only ran 6.4 miles on Saturday at an easy pace – This meant that my legs were much fresher this morning.
- I ate more food last night than on previous weeks – Recently I haven’t been fuelling well at all on the night before the long run as I’ve been trying to lose weight. This time I ate enough to see me through.
- Running for Northern Ireland Hospice has given me a reason to succeed – I can’t just throw in the towel on a run anymore. I can’t be seen to be fucking around and I won’t.
- I focused on the disappointment I felt this time last week with falling short with a 15 mile run – I couldn’t let it happen again. I’m running out of time and I need to do all I can to be ready for both Paris and Belfast. Paris is only 4 weeks away.
- I focused on how I’ll feel on my holiday to Greece the day after Belfast – If I don’t put in the work now, then the chances are that I’ll struggle to even get up the steps up onto the fucking aeroplane.
- I caked myself in Bodyglide before running – This meant there was no fucking chance of chaffing. Having your legs to rub together for 18 miles is painful and embarrassing. I’m reluctant to take off my gear at the end of the run in case my skin has rubbed away to the bone.
- By mile 17 I was feeling confident as I knew I’d ran all of my uphill parts – There’s nothing worse than getting towards the end of a run only to realise you still have hills to do. This is a mental barrier that I still struggle with.
Now onto the last few weeks of my Paris schedule
I’ve only 2.5 weeks left of training before I’m forced into a taper. Here’s how I’m gonna spend the time before this.
I’m only gonna taper for 10 days as I tend to go fucking insane during this time and eat everything around me. Then I gain weight and I feel less confident in my running.
10 days should be more than enough. Some schedules recommend 3 weeks of tapering, but fuck that. I’ve tried that approach before and it didn’t work for me.
So 10 days it is.
Thanks again to everyone who has donated to my Paris & Belfast Just Giving page. I really appreciate it and your support will continue to drive me on!
Now I’m off to bed for some well earned rest!