After a bout of illness, I finally managed to get myself together and get back to my training plan. Saturday saw my longest run before the London Marathon and I braced myself as I looked at my training plan - 20 miles!
I will admit I was a little daunted by the mileage I had to run. Its SO long! But spurred on by the 18 miles I'd run a couple of weeks earlier and adamantly telling myself it was only a measly two extra miles (!) I laced up and went out.
It was a run of four seasons to say the least. I was greeted with glorious sunshine, which turned into heavy rain at half way point, then a bit of sleet and hail followed by some lovely strong winds which seriously made me think I might blow into the canal (an ongoing fear in my running). Thanks weather, you certainly kept it interesting.
I've heard that doing your long runs on your usual routes is a good idea, and I have to say I agree! I always thought running different length variations of the same route would be mind numbingly boring, but I find that it actually allows your body to go into auto pilot and your mind to wander while your feet find their own way.
To make up the whole 20 miles, I did an out and back 8 miles, then my usual 12 - 16 mile route. I found that this broke it up into sections - 8 miles, then 12 miles, then just a 4 mile loop of one of my normal routes to get the mileage up to 16, and from there it was just 4 miles to get home. I know, it sounds bonkers but it totally worked! I'm hoping that if I study the marathon route and think of it this way it may well help in the despairing 20 - 25 miles where all you want to do is cry.
Speaking of which, I often get WAY over emotional on my long runs and this one did not disappoint. I had a tiny wee little sob towards the very end, and not even because of the pain. Sometimes its just a little....overwhelming. Honestly, this running malarkey does strange things to you.
Still that's it - longest run done - 20 miles in 2 hours 42 mins...hurrah! Just a few more runs and only two and a half weeks until the big day. Scary and exciting all at once.
Bring it on!