In October I read about "The Simulator" from the Hanson Brother's Project. They are coaches from Michigan who train crazy awesome athletes. They believe in never running more than 16 miles, but almost all runs are done on tired legs so it seems like you are running more miles.
"The Simulator" is a 26.2 kilometer marathon run at race pace. I asked my coach if this could be incorporated into my training plan. This all seemed great in October, but not so great this week. Having been quite sick earlier this week, I was super nervous about this run. My new pace zones had me running this at an 8:29/mile pace. That is fast!
I prepped as best I could and headed out the door this morning! The weather was almost perfect. It was windy (not perfect), but it was kind of chilly (high 40's)! Could I do it? I had no idea, but I planned to run as strong as I could for 16.3 miles.
My mantra for this run was "The Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you." 2 Thessalonians 3:3 I repeated it again and again when I was getting tired or bored, but mostly tired.
My splits were
8:18 (unofficial 13.1 PR in 1:49.20)
7:39/mile pace for 0.3 miles for a total time of 2:15.47!
During the last 1.3 miles "Strong Enough" by Matthew West started playing on my iPod! Isn't God wonderful??!! When I needed encouragement and strength I found it in the encouraging words of the song.
With my warm-up and cool-down I ran 19.2 miles for the day. I did not give in and pushed through the wind and tired legs and sore hip. Who knows what 26.2 miles will bring on race day. Can I run that long this fast? Will the weather be in my favor? Will I be mentally tough when it gets hard? I don't know the answers to those questions. What I do know is this was a big confidence boosting run for me.