I love this advice. I think it applies to long runs just as much as races. Friday I ran 20 miles. It was my longest run since April. Because this marathon training cycle has been so short, I debated how long to make my longest run. After last week, I decided I needed at least one 20 miler under my belt. I like to have a 20 mile and one 22+ mile run before my marathons, but that wasn't an option this time. And I don't typically jump from 12 to 16 to 20 miles for my long runs over a period of three weeks, but this time everything had to be different.
So I spent Thursday prepping for my long run. I needed to do it Friday while my girls were in school because the hubs had to work Saturday. Thursday I tried to take it a little easier, ate my usual pre-long run meals (oatmeal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner), focused on hydrating, and tried (but failed) to get to bed early.
After I dropped my girls off at school Friday morning, I met Janae to run my first five and her last five of an 18 miler. Those miles flew by and were by far the best of the 20.
After we split up and Janae headed home, I ran back to my car and refilled my water bottle. Then I did another out and back to finish the last nine miles. The final four were tough. I stopped at a 7-Eleven and filled my bottle with Powerade because I was soaking in sweat and could feel the salt coating my face. I drank the entire bottle during that last four miles. When I finished, it was in the low 80s with hardly a cloud in the sky.
Even though I spent the last four miles seriously trying to decide if I should drop down to the half for my race next month, I drove home thinking about how I love the way I feel after a long run. And I decided I would love to run an 18 or 20 miler every month. There's a different sense of accomplishment after running 20 miles. There's a combination of satisfaction and joy I feel after a long run. There is strength in the exhaustion of a long run.
There's also a little less guilt when I chow down on a bucket of kettle corn at the movies the next night.
What do you eat the day before a long run?
What is your favorite movie treat?