12 miles. Coming into form

Yesterday I  had a long run. 12 miles. I mentioned that yesterday, and I also mentioned that it was my longest run in quite some time. I was feeling a little nervous about it, but I am working within marathon training constraints, which honestly, take a little pressure off pace for me.

I am working in a new environment for this marathon cycle, it is the same environment that I was in for my 5K section in the spring, and I am getting some different guidance for my long runs. It is obviously information that I have gotten in the past on long runs, but I am finally accepting of it, I am finally ready to take on all of the rules around the marathon, everything that has been put in front of me, and ready to take it on.

And by that I mean relaxing on my long runs. I have always felt a little panicky around long runs if they weren't averaging around 8:15-8:20 pace. In my HEAD, I know that I need to run some of them slower than that unless there is a workout inside of that run. Anna has given me guidance around this, so I do not have to be quite so hard on myself during a long run. Her recommendation (and one that she follows herself, I asked her!) is to run 60-90 seconds slower per mile than marathon pace and then you can accelerate in the last quarter of the run. And so I am trying that. I admit, I am a little nervous, but at the same time, I have not had much success for the last two marathons I had run. I guess that means I need to get out there and put my faith and my trust in the process. I have set a goal, so let's stick to it.
So based on my goal, I want to run 8:38-9:08, goal pace of 7:38. Now, I am not sure if that is where I am going to end up at the end of the season, I admit it is a BIG goal, but I am going after it for right now.

I carried water with me yesterday, and I also kept my phone in the pouch of my bottle along with one gel. For some reason my phone bouncing around in that pouch leads to my phone getting locked. So occasionally you get flustered with it, pause for a second, and wait for it to unlock so you can get your podcast back. And you also take goofy pictures like this.

Ha! That was about 9.5 miles in, after taking a little bathroom break. At least it was a good day weather wise, which we pretty much have not had since April or something. It was still humid, but it was only about 70 degrees. 70 is still hot, but it was NOTHING compared to what it has been. 

Overall, the run felt good. I was pleased with my run, I was pleased with the fact that I stuck to the goal pace (overall) and that I had room to get faster at the end like Anna suggested.
As you can see, I pretty much executed perfectly. I definitely worked a little to slow myself down in the earlier laps and settled in. Once I got to mile 10 I let myself go. And it felt great.


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