I put in an 18-miler on Saturday with 14 miles at MP + about 15 seconds, so 7:25ish a mile. It was definitely my hardest long run so far but it was a million times better than the first 20 mile run I did training for my first marathon.
That 20 mile run brings back (terrible) memories. It was a Saturday morning last July and it started out innocent enough. I thought I was going to do 10 miles out and then 10 back at my goal marathon pace. Wrong. It got hot, which for Minnesota means about 75 degrees. By the time I turned around, and I ended up doing maybe 3 miles at MP. Then, at 14ish miles I ran out of water. At 16 miles my legs felt like jello, and I'm still not sure how I finished the whole 20.
Saturday's run was so much better. The only downside was I decided I didn't need gloves and when I pulled out a pack of jelly-beans around mile 14 my cold hands had problems opening them. Then, when I got the pack opened my fingers' dexterity was far from adequate for putting said beans into my mouth. I dropped several, costing me at least 14 calories and surely a slower pace.
On Saturday I met some new friends, a group called the Minnesota Running Wild. They were all doing different distances and paces but I found someone who wanted to go 10 at about my pace. Unfortunately, Emi and I weren't overly familiar with the route and ended up running 14.7 miles instead of 10. Oops.
Oh well, over 32 miles is pretty good for one weekend. I got a little over 55 miles last week and I'll shoot for 55 miles+ this coming week.