This was the Greenway Marathon. It was overcast, cold, and windy this morning. I went out trying to run 8:15s as long as I could. I was a little fast on the first 8 (hilly) miles, and then I slowed down on the next 10 (flat) miles. Bob Buchholz ran with me on the flat 10, and he kept me running a lot longer than I would have on my own. If I'd been by myself, I'd have probably started walking somewhere between 15 and 16. My hamstrings had really tightened up, and my running form was shot.
I hadn't trained for this one, and my longest run of the year was 12 miles. I also just kept running this morning and didn't take any breaks or nutrition at the aid stations. So when I got to 18, I just stopped, and I was beat. I drank a bunch of water and ate all the PowerBar strawberry-banana gels I had with me. I walked the next half mile, and when we got back to Bob's vehicle (actually Dan (Smithhesler?)'s) at Two Rivers I knew I was done. I didn't want to run anymore. This wasn't any type of goal race.
Tonight, my left achilles is really hurting, and the outside of my left knee is sore. As a race effort, this was an epic failure. But as an 18 mile training run, it wasn't too bad. I just didn't have the training miles for a marathon, and I didn't have the mindset that it was important for me to finish this one. I'd rather recover quickly and get back to racing in April.
According to the Garmin, I ran the first 18 miles in 02:27:30.95, which is an 8:12 pace. So I was hitting the pace I wanted. Unfortunately, it was getting harder and harder, and that was on the flats. Even if I'd kept running somehow, the hills would have crushed me. To go sub-4hr, I'd have had to run 11:16 pace for the last 8.2 miles. It sounds doable sitting here now, but it didn't seem worth the attempt earlier today.