On Saturday, I decided to take a different approach to my long run. My run club was going back to the Boston course, but my hip hasn't been too happy with the hills, so I decided to run on my flat trail. My schedule called for 18 miles, but I wanted to go longer. I went to the trail with an open mind. I absolutely didn't feel like running. I was kind of dragging because of my long week and the idea of being on the trail for three hours didn't sound too fun. I knew that my negative attitude would not help me complete my run, so I pushed the negativity aside as much as possible. I told my sister that my goal for the day was 22 miles.
Why 22 miles just over 2 weeks until Boston? I had a reason for this number. I have read many times that if you run a slow 22 miles, at your correct long run pace, then the time on your feet should equal your marathon time. 3 1/2 hours of running was kind of daunting but I knew that mentally it would help me on April 16th. I also figured that since I missed nearly two weeks of running, that a shorter taper would actually help rather than hurt me.
If I was going to meet my goal of 3 1/2 hours on my feet, I had to constantly remind myself to slow down in the first 10 miles. If you remember from my Disney recap, I have a hard time slowing down in the first 10 miles, so I counted this as good practice. I was wearing my new Polar training computer with the foot stride sensor. Apparently, I didn't calibrate the stride sensor very well because my total distance was off by .04 miles for each mile. In a short run, no big deal. Over the course of 22 miles, it was a huge difference. It also made for seemingly really slow laps, but luckily, by following my heart rate I knew if my heart rate was dropping, I was running too slow and vice versa.
By the time I hit mile 14, I was feeling GREAT. My legs felt strong and I was so thankful that I slowed it down to 9+ minute miles for this run. Since I felt so good, I committed myself to the 22 miles at that point. I was going to run my longest training run ever and I was suddenly very excited. I finished the run feeling pretty happy, with only slightly sore legs. My total time was 3:23 for 22.25 miles. A tiny bit too fast, but this was definitely the longest run, time and distance, that I have run in a long time.
Taper time! I am so excited to head into the city to get the constant reminders of all the runners coming into town. For now, I will take Twitter and my mailbox.