Eighteen miles, in a car, is not far at all. It’s a brief excursion; a side trip; a short jaunt.
On two feet, eighteen miles is brutal.
Thirteen? Doable. Fifteen? Challenging, but still enjoyable. Eighteen miles is pain – a totally different beast from the slightly shorter distances.
I’ve tried it twice now, once by myself, once with a friend who’s also training for Disney. Both times, I’ve hit a wall, where it seems like the body just refuses to obey commands to keep moving forward. Fifteen miles takes me, on average, about 2:45 to finish. Eighteen, I can’t finish under 3:35.
That extra three miles shouldn’t take 50 minutes.
And if eighteen is this hard, what’s going to happen in four weeks when I try to tack more than eight miles on top of that?
The one thing I know I can improve is my pre-run dinner. Both times, the night before my run was not the pasta-rich carbo-loading I have enjoyed before my more successful runs. So next week, I will not deviate from the pasta plan, and hope that makes a difference trying to run twenty. Something’s got to change dramatically between now and next week if I’m going to finish this marathon next month.
Experienced runners, feel free to chime in with advice.