18 mile run number two

Well, this is getting easier.

I’m still struggling with a shinsplint, now on my right leg. But I soldiered on, doing my second 18 mile long run this morning. I really didn’t feel like going out there. I was tired after two not-s0-great nights of sleep, slightly dehydrated and, of course, experiencing some shin pain. So I laced up my shoes without the best of attitudes.

But it’s new year’s eve, so I wanted to start off next year with the knowledge that I did my best on my training run with just 84 days to go until Marathon Day. It’s always helpful to have a goal for these runs. So my goal for this week was to run the first half at 10:20 and the second half at 10:00. This would be a shade faster that the last 18 miler, in which I averaged a 10:25 over the course of the run.

After the first couple of miles, I realized that in fact I felt quite good, all things considered, so I picked up the pace and ran the first eight miles at around 10:10, then the next eight at around 9:55, and in a serendipitous change of plan ran the last two at marathon pace (around 8:45). I will be tacking on more marathon pace segments at the end of my long runs, as well as running marathon pace shorter runs. The 8:45 pace felt fairly natural, although I was quite tired at the end of the run. My watch reports that I burned 1900 calories. No wonder I inhaled two burritos.

For Christmas, my mother generously gifted me a year’s subscription to Marathon and Beyond. The first issue arrived a few days ago. The January/February issue, at least, is quite good. A nice mix of sports science, essays, runner and race profiles, and training information. I can now add this to the pile of running-related publications coming into the house, including Running Times and Ultrarunning magazines.

Furthering the running theme, my sister gave me a gift certificate to one of my favorite outfitters, Title 9 Sports. I’ll be spending that this afternoon. There are always more running clothes to buy. I’ve had my eye on a running vest for inbetween days like today.

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