Today was my final long run before starting to taper for next weekend’s Endure24 event. I forced myself out of bed at 7am, not feeling up for it at all, but the forecast for Sunday was heavy rain and this morning looked reasonable so I refrained from postponing the long effort till tomorrow.
Anyway, I was out the door about 7:20 after a quick energy drink and an Elevensies bar. The first couple of miles didn’t feel good at all, and by the 2 mile point I was really questioning whether I could do another 7 sets of that.
I was listening to a Marathon Talk podcast and kind of got into it (an excellent interview with Paul Evans), and zoned out from the uncomfortable feeling. The route was along the canal and I’ve done it so many times that I know all the waypoints – they were starting to get ticked off, one by one, and I was knocking a couple of seconds off my average pace with each mile, so the half way point didn’t seem to take long.
Halfway is Aldermaston Wharf and there is a little tearoom there with an outside tap that I always use to fill my water bottle – very useful bit of local knowledge there…
Heading back I was listening to the second part of the Paul Evans interview – really engaging – and didn’t notice the miles going by until I got to around the 14 mile point (in a couple of hours) – then I started wondering about doing that (2 hrs of running) TWELVE times next weekend – thinking about the scale of the task I have in front of me, is a little bit worrying.
I really need to stop thinking in terms of miles or hours, but more in terms of ‘loops’ (5 mile). I want to do a minimum of 14, and hopefully 20 or more…
So, all in, it was a 15.5 mile effort at 8:30 pace. The plan is, from this point on (for the next week) I’ll be taking things easy. No speedy lunchtime efforts, nothing long and no letting others (Chris Mortimer) psyche in to nailing 5 milers … Easy 3 or 4 mile efforts Sunday to Thursday with a late night on Thursday to do a 2 miler just after midnight as my Friday run – leaving me a good 36 hours of recovery before the event.