This morning I ran 23 miles in 5:15:34 @ 13:46 min/mile pace in the freezing cold. This is a distance PR by 3 miles! I'm exhausted and achy, but ecstatic at what I've accomplished. You can read the details of the run on dailymile.
It really sunk in more than ever this morning that I am definitely a runner, and it has transformed me. Two years ago, I would have laughed at the thought of running more than a mile, let alone going out at 3 am in the cold -- which I considered to be anything under 65. The old me would have used the low temperature as an excuse to stay in bed and skip the workout. But the new me is determined to do whatever it takes to finish my first marathon and nothing seems to deter me.
I've done a lot of things I never thought I would, including running in the rain, running in sub-freezing temperatures, and entering the food chain to complete a triathlon. When the forecast called for rain during my last half marathon, I did not once considered not running it an option. I simply went to Track Shack, got the proper gear, and wished for the best. Being out of town for Thanksgiving and Christmas meant I had to do two long runs (6.5 miles and 10 miles) without my beloved Galloway group. I was apprehensive at first, but knew I could do it and it turned out to be easier than expected. Visiting Jason's parents in Georgia this week meant that I had to run twice in (literally) freezing weather: 3 miles and 4.75 miles. Last year I got sick and didn't attempt it. This year I was determined not to jeopardize marathon training, so I got some warm clothes and braved the elements and hills.
I'm so ready to tackle this marathon already, but I am grateful for the next two weekends of shorter long runs--10 & 12. And how awesome is it that 10-12 miles is considered "short" now? :) On 1/23 I'll tackle my last long run of 26 miles, then begin a 4 week taper. So I'll basically be running two marathon 5 weeks apart.