Marathon Training Update: 16 Miles

Marathon training presses on.

Saturday, I set a new personal record for distance: 16 miles.

All in all, it wasn’t that bad. Diana and I were able to schedule the same time to run, so that always helps. (There is nothing lonelier than two hours of solo running.) And for about 90% of the run, I felt pretty great.

Until the final two miles rolled around. Then my hips and knees started feeling tight and sore, and the 30-degree weather I had been ignoring seemed to kick it up a notch.

We crossed the 16-mile mark cold and uncomfortable, but we crossed it.

I’m not feeling too bad about it, though. When I did the 14 miles, I had a similar experience where only the last two were a little painful. Hopefully it’s a trend that continues.

It’s true what everyone says, though, marathon training is a mental game. Diana and I have started this thing where we’ll pretend we’re just starting to run mid-way through a long run. For example, on Saturday’s 16, after four we said (out loud) that we were just going to do two six mile runs real quick. Then at 11, Diana turns to me and says, “Do you want to do a quick five-mile run?”

It sounds corny, but it helps to break up the trek.

We’ve also started experimenting with eating whilst we run. I’ve never done this before (I rarely even stop for water during half-marathons), and it’s a little strange. On Saturday, I ate about four Swedish Fish (two at mile seven, two at mile 12). I don’t love candy on a normal day, but the extra sugar did help. Next long run, I might try one of those sports chews or something. I still can’t get on board with the goos.

Any recommendations from my runner friends?

I’ve got three weeks until the first 20-miler (which I honestly can’t even think about right now) with two 12-mile runs and an 18 in between. BUT, I’m about halfway through with training.

Right now, let’s just focus on these pretty pictures of paris, okay? Okay.




{image sources here, here, and here.)

6 thoughts on “Marathon Training Update: 16 Miles

  1. I seem to switch between gels and chews with each training cycle. Both have their flaws; gels just don’t taste like real FOOD, and some chews are just tough to, well, chew on the run. Case in point: I think Clif Shot Blocks are actually pretty tasty, but in the middle of a run they get lodged in my teeth and it takes too much extra energy (especially in a marathon, which is already sucking out all of my energy stores!) to remedy this. Lately I like Honey Stinger chews, one every mile or so instead of inhaling a whole packet every 5 miles.

    Like you, I rarely stop for water in half marathons. I know this isn’t recommended, but I just don’t like to have anything mess with my momentum. That said, I think even the half distance doesn’t come close to the full when it comes to being careful about things like hydrating often and reining in the pace early on so you don’t crash and burn later. It took NYRR’s 18-mile race last summer to teach me that if you maintain a consistent pace, stopping at every water stop for just a few seconds won’t actually cost you much time. A tip: try to run to the end of each stop and take a cup there so that when you stop and walk a few steps to sip, you’re farther along the race course. If you can find a longish race before the marathon, I recommend signing up and using it as a long run and practicing your drinking strategy.

    • The not tasting like real food is a big one for me. Hopefully I’ll find something in the next few weeks that works. Good tip on the water stops! I’m so worried about stopping at all during the marathon, it gets so much harder to get going again.

    • I’ll have to look for those! I know I have to eat something, I’m just so paranoid about upsetting my stomach or feeling nauseous.

  2. My husband has had the most luck with honey packets (from Starbucks actually!) and my mom really likes JellyBeans. My mom’s friend Becky loves the sports beans. Its good to try them out during your training runs so your body won’t surprise you!

  3. Well I may not be a runner friend, but I’m a very impressed friend. 16 miles? And in this freezing cold weather?? You got this!!

    Oh and love the Paris pics. You’re almost there!


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