I headed out today to get my long run in for the week. I am training for the Cox Providence Rhode Race marathon on May 6th. I am not using a specific training plan. I am going with the advice that if you can run 20 you can run a full and your wall is the farthest distance you have run in the past 2 weeks.
I am focusing on my mental game approaching the distance as five 5 mile sets. I am also expanding my brain around the notion that I can run for miles and miles and miles! You know just relax and do it.
I don't run with all of the electronic gear that others have. I just use a Times Ironman Triathlon watch and a step counter when I feel like it. So when I set out for distance I figure an average of 10 minutes a mile and worry about the exact distance after the run, unless I must know ahead of time and map it pre-run. I find that I actually go farther when I go with the 10 minute mile approach. So today I ran out 1:36 and then back for a total of 3:28. In the end I went 21.25 miles and averaged 9:45 minutes per mile.
In addition to working on my metal game today I also got to work on running in crappy weather. The way out was beautiful and I could not imagine why people were walking with umbrellas. It all became clear when I turned around. The sky was very dark and within 10 minutes I was being pelted with cold wind, hail & rain. I thought about waiting it out somewhere, but thought they don't stop the clock in a marathon when the weather turns. It was horrible for 15-20 minutes and then cleared only to resume again with a soaking rain that saturated my shoes and socks. I survived the weather and the miles with just enough time to shower and head back out for ballet and soccer with the girls. I did not even have time to check my distance. :(
Never having run a full marathon before, I won't know if this is the best approach or me or not until I test it on race day. For now it is what I have got and we will see soon enough how it works out. I am not concerned with my final time on race day. For my first full I just want to finish it and then we will see what comes next in terms of adjusting my training plan (such as it is) to improve.
I run for fun and to be outside on my own. So in the end it is all good! I am open to suggestions though if you have any advice you would like to share with a first time marathoner. I will let you know how it all goes on May 6th!