Saturday finished up week # 9 of my marathon training program. Week # 9 followed a light week # 8 where we only ran 6 miles; we had 9 miles in the pipe for the Saturday long run. From what I understand, the light weeks are key in letting your body recover its strength for pushing further ahead so at first I was looking forward to the next long run.

Then on day 1 of week # 9 I got sick and was out of action until Tuesday. I wound up only running two runs during the week, instead of the 4 runs I had planned. When Saturday rolled around I still didn’t feel 100% but decided I need to try the full run anyway. I wound up running with my friend Teri at Sugar Land Memorial Park instead of my big running group. Because of the layout of the park’s trails we wound up running closer to 10 miles instead of 9, total.

Bottom line: 10 miles was a real bitch. I felt pretty worn out after being sick during the week and without my normal pacing group I found it much harder to maintain a consistent pace or plan my own. Towards the end I was going, very, very slow. Overall, I finished right at 2 hours, for a 12:00 minute/mile average pace, compared to the 10:00 minute/mile average pace I had been averaging on the longer runs. I also found that all the little things the old timers warned me about was completely true: at runs past 90 minutes in time you start to find new places that hurt.

This week, # 10, is only scheduled for 10 miles so I’ll get a chance to do 10 miles again before pushing forward.