as RunTex said, long runs are difficult when they are 50% of your weekely mileage.
your quote "My last 16 miler should have been 18 miler, but my legs said NO! next week it's 20 miler. I don't want to walk across that finish line."
made me think... If you couldn't walk the last 2 miles of your 18 miler why are you so against walking across the finish line, it might be your only option... not to be cruel, but you're not getting in the minimal build up... now I will admit that you will have many things going for you on marathon day, a taper to build up some energy, the crowd to lift your spirits & push you along... the idea of training is to PUSH yourself along at increasingly longer distances which are still less than what you will face on marathon day... the only way to know what you will do when you feel like you can't go on is to GO ON when you feel that way in training, unless you are hurt. By the way, how did you feel later that afternoon and the next day?
one of my favorite saying is that running won't kill you, you'll pass out first.
I'm concerned that you might not have an athletic background and have never pushed yourself or you are really not in good enough shape to do the 26.2 miles, have you done any other running? run any other distance races? If not you might want to check out Jeff Galloway's run:walk strategy I think his website is RunInjuryFree.com many beginners use it to get through the long runs. If you do use that strategy you should be able to go longer, including up to 26.2 miles and at least choose when you walk.
I'd be really interested in how the 20 miler goes for you as well as the marathon. Please post results of both & how it felt. Good luck -Rita
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