I've run several half marathons, but I don't think my training ever included anything more than 12 or 13 miles. So, I think it is safe to say that I have run 13 miles probably 10 times since 2005, but I haven't run more than 13.1 miles since the 2005 Marine Corps Marathon. Until yesterday. . .
First, for me there is a huge difference between 10 running miles and running 13 miles. I think 10 miles is perfect - it's long enough that you get psyched to run it (like a long road trip), but it is not too long - just when you start to get bored and sore around miles 8 you realize that you're almost done. But 13??? Just when you start fading at mile 8 you realize - "I'm screwed! I've got 5 more miles of this!" So after running 10 miles just about every weekend from March to September, Anne and I increased to 13 miles on September 8 and 15. On the 8th, we were good through 11 and then it started to be "not good." At one point, it sounded like Anne was in labor and there were many times when I wondered if we had made a horrible mistake. The 13 miles run on the 15th was much better. I felt strong the whole way through and started to think we were going to be okay.
Yesterday, we were scheduled to run 15. I got up 45 minutes prior to our scheduled start to "try to work some things out" before hitting the pavement. Renee and Anne arrived at 6:30 and we were off. They skis were gray and both Renee and Anne had run into significant rain on the drive to me house. We made it about 2 miles before the skis opened up and boy did they open up! I'd say we were in torrential downpours from mile 2.5 to mile 6 and then it let up a bit (a BIT). I could feel the water squishing between my toes with every step - gross. We essentially did an out and back with a loop at the end - a lollipop:
Even with the rain, it wasn't too bad. We were a bit slower than usual, but I was happy with our 9:51. And I felt okay when we finished. I couldn't have run another 11.2 miles, but I could have gone another 4 or 5 (I think). The next two weeks will be light for me; but then we'll do 15 again on 10/6 and start lengthening from there.
And here's a view of our finish: