This morning yielded another milestone in my path towards May 26. For the first time ever, I’ve run more than half a marathon. This morning’s run was 14 miles.

My training schedule is currently online (and continuously updated!) at:

Normally, weekends are the long runs. Saturday was a 7 mile day (at marathon pace) and Sunday was supposed to be a 14 mile run. I ran Saturday’s run, but I decided to not run on Sunday.

Since I last wrote (after doing my first 10+ miler) the past few weeks have been mostly uneventful with respect to running, up until this past week.

For the past week or so (5/6 days maybe) I’ve been experiencing a little bit of pain in my right calf muscle when I walk. I suspect that I just pulled a muscle a little bit, and these things just take some time to heal. Last Tuesday was a 4 mile, Wed 7, and Thursday 4. Somewhere in that time frame I started noticing this minor pain. On my 7 mile Wednesday run, I took a water break (where I slow down from 8 miles per hour to about 3-4 miles per hour so that I can drink water with spilling it all over myself) at about 1.5 miles and again at 3 miles. Each time that I restarted running my leg hurt and I kinda felt like I was just carrying my right leg with my left. Once I got up to speed, the problem went away and I could run as much as I wished with no pain at all. After going through this at 3 miles (on my 7 mile run) I decided to just run the rest of the way. So, I went the last 4 miles without a break. No big deal, really. Thursday’s run was similar. I just reduced the number of breaks.

Friday is normally a day of rest. Up until recently I’ve been playing volleyball on Friday night, though. This past Friday I decided to skip the volleyball and give my leg as much chance as possible to heal. Saturday morning rolled around and I did my 7 mile run. The pain wasn’t quite as visible during the restarts. But, off and on for the remainder of Saturday, when I would walk, I would “feel it” every time I had my left foot on the ground and was swinging my right food forward.

Sunday morning arrived. I got up, and every single step I took when leaving the bedroom hurt like this. I decided to be kind to my leg and not attempt to damage it anymore than I needed to. So, I went back to bed. Other than a couple mile walk on Sunday afternoon, I didn’t do any real exercise yesterday.

The primary rule of the training program that I am using says: Don’t skip the long runs.

So, I knew that I needed to make up my 14 mile run in the next few days. But, I didn’t know if my leg would cooperate. My long runs usually wipe me out for a while. Monday night I have league volleyball games. So, I thought very seriously about not even attempting the long run until Tuesday morning.

But, I woke up this morning and my leg was doing pretty good. As I was preparing to run, my leg didn’t hurt at all while I was walking around. So, I decided to do the 14 miler this morning before work.

While I did feel my leg during running restarts, it wasn’t too bad. I had plans to take water breaks every 3-4 miles, but ended up taking an extra break in the 10-14 mile range. I had to refill my glass at about 10 miles, and getting restarted running was difficult. I refilled again at about 13, and restarting was tricky, not because of my leg, but just because of the distance, I think. The mere couple of minutes that I had stopped to refill my glass was enough for my legs to decide that I was done running, and they were ready for a break. So, I had to coax them back into a running mood.

This is one of the bits of wisdom that I’m going to take with me into the marathon. Don’t stop running. Especially near the end of the race. I think that will be key. If I stop running, it is going to be very difficult to restart once my legs are tired. So, hopefully I can keep going.

Anyway, the fun continues. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

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