After my spectacular tempo run Wednesday I started thinking about the long run and whether I’d be able to improve anything on the run today or if I should even add a mile to get my body used to a little more distance before the marathon.
This run, however, was not “perfect” as I described last week’s run and a lot of it was mental. Even though my average pace was only 5 seconds slower there were at least 3 things I think factored into my disappointing run today.
1. I ran 20 miles last week.
This seems almost obvious but it needs to be stated. 20 miles is a very long distance. Before today I’d run that long only one time. My legs needed more time to recover, especially since I got in an amazing session of pump on Tuesday.
The run just felt harder and I could feel my hips start to ache around the 11 mile mark. I’m doing whatever I can to make it to yoga tomorrow. I need those hip openers.
2. I didn’t sleep as well last night.
Unlike the night before my 18 miler I didn’t lose sleep because I was freaking myself out about the distance. (or maybe I was a little?) I felt a bit agitated last night because I had to attend a school function instead of being able to unwind and get some stuff done. I had really strange dreams and woke up several times between 5am and 6am.
3. My mind wasn’t into it.
I’m not sure why but I don’t think I ever got into a rhythm and/or zoned out at all during the run. My mind kept running in 50 million different directions. That made it hard to focus on the positive or at least avoid focusing on every little negative detail.
I won’t leave it on the negative though. One huge positive happened during the run plus my rapidly running mind came up with a lot to reflect on. 😀
1. The only mile I had a pace in the 10 minute range was my 20th! I think I finally conquered my mind and overcame my body’s near refusal to run. My last mile was 1 minute faster than my average pace! This shows me that come October 29th when I’m running miles 20.01-26.2 I have the mental stamina to push through and cross that finish line.
2. The next time I run at least this distance again I’ll be running the marathon.
That’s right. I’m technically starting the 3 week taper. I’ve heard about the “taper crazies” or other such term but we’ll see how I deal with it. 😀