This weekend was my last true long run in my training. I’m officially starting my taper this week. Tapering is when you gradually reduce your mileage in the last few weeks before a race.
I knew I needed to get in 20 this weekend, but Saturday was a rainy mess. I could have run in it, but I’d done 12 last week in constant mist, so I figured I was prepared enough for a bad weather race. I waited until Sunday and it paid off – it was a really nice day. I wasn’t able to get out until later in the day (around noon), but it didn’t matter; the temperature was still nice and cool.
Listening to my podcast, I ran the harder part of the trail (lots more hills!) all the way into the next town. I’ve never run that far on this particular trail before so the last few miles before I turned around were fun and filled with new scenery.
This was a hard run mentally. My legs were sore and tired and my knee started acting up. Around mile 12 I was ready to give up. I had to check myself and remember that I am capable of doing this. I did this before! It was only eight more miles and I knew I could finish.
I kept with my hydration, kept my pacing and walking breaks mostly as scheduled and made it! I fought through some pretty intense wind and walked a little more than I would have preferred, but at the end of the day, I did it. I got 20 miles in and it was a pretty good run.
I had a few stretching stops (my hips were getting really tight), but finished strong with an average pace of 11:49, which was great considering I walked more towards the end than I was planning on.
It’s starting to sink in that in three short weeks I will be running a full marathon. Again.
Now it is time to take it easy, get lots of rest, and try and keep myself from getting sick. Last year, I was pretty miserably sick the entire week leading up to my marathon, so I’d much rather skip that this time around!