I had 18 miles on deck, and we had a busy day ahead. It just made sense to start my run at the Memorial Parkway trail head for the Towpath, which is a mile from our apartment and just happened to be where one of the last aid stations was for the 100-mile race.
We were down there by 7:30 a.m. The runners we saw had been running for 27 and a half hours -- about 95 miles. Sadly, most of them looked better than I would look when I finished my meek three-hour run.
For the first six miles, we saw dozens of runners and cheered on each one as they trudged along. That first hour of my run felt like nothing. Those ultra-runners provided a huge dose of perspective and a powerful boost of motivation, along with a great distraction.
[Drunkard's note: Congrats to JoJa Jogger for finishing in 29 hours, 39 minutes!]
The Enthusiast helped me stay on pace for the final miles as she biked along. My bonked 18-miler in Week 7 is just a faded memory.
Akron Marathon Training Week 9:
- Tuesday was a five-mile recovery run to exorcise Week 8 and my longest barefoot run to date (9:30 pace).
- Thursday's race pace run was an eight-miler in the hippy shoes, another milestone (8:56 pace).
- Friday was an easy four miles in my new shoes (9:50 pace).
- Saturday was a tough nine-miler on the final leg of the Burning River course (11:03 pace).
- Sunday's 18-miler was aforementioned (10:37 pace).
- Total Miles: 151 miles (21 runs)
- Highest Weekly: 44 miles (40, if Sunday doesn't count)
- Average Weekly: 37 miles
- Average Pace: 10:04.27 per mile
- Longest/Fastest Run: 16 miles @ 10:14 pace
- The Monthly Dif: +32 miles (119 miles in June)