Rest week is over

I'm an excellent driver

Today I had my latest "longest run ever" experience, covering 18 miles in just under 3-1/2 hours. The first part wasn't too bad - I cut about 6 minutes off my half-marathon PR, and was feeling not terrible at that point. However, on my last long run (16 miles) I found that miles 14-16 were very tough, and that was true again today. And this time I still had two miles to go...

I ended up talking out loud to myself on the roadside near the end of this run, and somehow the whole experience reminded me of Dustin Hoffman in Rainman, where he keeps asserting that he's an excellent driver despite the evidence to the contrary. Here's a (slightly edited) version of how my conversation went, starting at about the 16.5-mile mark

Runner (that's me): My back hurts, my legs are shot, and I don't want to run any more. I'm calling home for a med-evac ride.
Coach (that's also me): Look, we're nearly home, and it's going to feel better if we finish this thing. Here's what we'll do - you walk to the main road, then run from there to the bottom of the last big hill, walk that hill, and then run the rest of the way in. Ignore your watch and just keep going.
Runner: OK, I can probably do that.

The conversation then resumed at the top of the big hill (which is only big in the context of my being ready to die).

Runner: Just walking up that hill was pretty brutal. What say we walk the rest of it?
Coach: Stop whining - it's less than a mile to go!
Runner: (Questions the qualifications of the coach, probable parentage, and starts into an insult of  the "Yer momma..." variety).
Coach: That's very nice. Start running.

So, I made it to the 17.75 mile point, which was at the top of the last little rise, and I'd just had it. I kept my watch running (hah!) while I walked towards the house, stopping it when I'd hit 18 miles. I'm beginning to see why the guy who ran the very first Marathon died at the end of it.

You can see why the coach is considering getting a better class of runner to work with.

Other workouts this week

This was something of a complicated week for me, scheduling-wise. Friday I volunteered to teach the kids at my daughter's school how to program, so I didn't have an opportunity to get in my scheduled ride. Thursday I ran 6 miles with KT, and it was her fastest 10K ever at about 10:45/mile. Wednesday featured a 17-mile cycling session with Ironman partner CK, at about 16mph. Tuesday was a 7.75-mile run with KT again (her longest outing without major walking), and we hit about 11:30/mile. That is a hilly course, so this was a pretty good pace for her at that distance.

I didn't get in a swim, but I'm planning to do one of those on Monday. The coming week has me busy on Tuesday, but with any luck I'll get the rest of the training sessions in.

5 weeks to go until the marathon!