Marathon Training: 21K Training Run

Today was the much dreaded long run. Okay, it wasn’t much dreaded. I actually look forward to these morning runs because I like the solitude I get run them. Well, I get some solitude. Half the time I’m humming the Sheriff Callie theme song (thank you, Izzy).

This morning I set off with my running belt in hand. I don’t usually run with fueling belts unless I’m running a marathon but I figured I might need to refuel during this run. This run made me realize that I should really invest in a Camelbak because I hate running with a belt around my waist. It never seems to sit right and it slowly loosens. I might just need to look for a better one. Starting off wasn’t too bad. My calves were pretty tight, probably from the tempo run I did yesterday. I just focused on an easy pace and settled into my stride. I try to remember that these longer runs are supposed to be at an easier pace but a lot of times I find myself looking at the Garmin and wanting to speed up. It was a tough mental challenge to not go too fast so early in my run.

I ran a new loop I mapped out the night before. The first half was on the loop I normally run so it wasn’t too bad. All the inclines are gradual and I’ve gotten accustomed to running up them. The second part of the new loop was a different story. The entire path was rolling hills. I found it super challenging and even had to take a short break at the 9 mile mark just to shake it out and stretch my legs. Still, the route was very serene and I enjoyed running under the tree canopies. Nothing beat the feeling when I turned on to the main street that led back home, though. I was so glad to see the finish.

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I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t too thrilled with my average pace. My last long run pace was 25 seconds faster. I get annoyed when I don’t keep the same pace or improve. Then again, this week hasn’t exactly gone according to plan training wise. I didn’t get to do fartleks and my long run was on Tuesday instead of Saturday. It could be a strong possibility that my legs are still tired from running a long run 3 days ago. The 4 mile tempo run yesterday probably didn’t help my case either. Still, a finish is a finish. I also tried to remind myself that the last .30 of the 13.40 was done at a jog/walk pace of 10:30. That probably didn’t help my average. I’m glad I did it, though. 

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