My Longest Training Run. Ever.

On Saturday, I ran my longest training run EVER. I have never gone over 20 miles on a training run (the one mile walking cool down that Karen and I have done about a million times does not count as going over 20 miles) and this training cycle I finally hit 22.

Not sure if anyone else recalls this, but last fall I was supposed to run 22 and I failed that run on back to back days. You can read that here. I remember how worried/flustered I was after that run. I remember how different my mental game was one year ago. Even though Saturday was not a perfect run (it was hot, I was terribly sweaty, and I paused at one point to basically lacrosse ball my quad with my fist), there was never any doubt in my mind that I would finish the run. Never.

I had 22 miles with 8 of them at MGP (7:45 per Coach!), so first up, let's take a look at splits.

Mile 1: 8:34
Mile 2: 8:26
Mile 3: 8:19
Mile 4: 8:25
Mile 5: 8:23
Mile 6: 8:10
Mile 7: 8:18
Mile 8: 8:11
Mile 9: 8:10
Mile 10: 8:12
Mile 11: 8:11
Mile 12: 7:32
Mile 13: 7:33
Mile 14: 7:26
Mile 15: 7:26
Mile 16: 7:31
Mile 17: 7:31
Mile 18: 7:31
Mile 19: 7:35
Mile 20: 8:08
Mile 21: 8:20
Mile 22: 8:00

As you can see, all of the marathon pace miles were pretty hot. Whoops. And on the early miles, as I could see my pace creeping faster before I wanted to run the pace miles, I really had to think HARD to force myself to slow down. So I am taking those things as good signs. In addition, that 8:20 at the end likely would have been a good bit faster, but I was coming down a steep hill and I actually walked down it. So, there is that.

I went to Lunken airport and Armleder Park to do this run. My marathon (in less than three weeks!) is on a looped course, 8 loops of just over three miles (with a run on/run off) and so I wanted to practice running loops, mostly for the mental strength of it. And while that part was tough (especially in the later miles since I chose to stick my pace miles toward the end), I pulled it off.

A few other things of note...  Bob Roncker's - a running store with training groups in Cincinnati - was also doing one of their long training runs in this same place. So they had tents with big water jugs in a few places around the park, and I was able to stop, refill, and chat for a few minutes. Also, when I stopped to "lacrosse ball" my quad, one of their coaches stopped to check on me. So to that man, thanks, and I foam rolled when I got home and am feeling ok.

So I am going to keep rolling with this week, run my final long run before taper (18 miles, convo pace) and then be ready to race. Wish me luck!

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