This past weekend, I knocked out my last major long run before my marathon in 3 weeks. Usually, my last long run is 28 miles but during the last few training cycles, I have opted for the shorter 24 effort. Having run a few marathons now, I don't see that there is a major difference in my race day efforts when I have opted for the 24 mile effort.
With rain setting across Charlotte, I fully expected to have cold wet run. However, luck seemed to be on my side. Other than some drizzle and from time to time a few drops of rain, my run was completed without the soaking and freezing rain that I expected.
The first 15 miles passed rather quickly. This was largely due to the company that I was keeping. One of the things, I don't think I ever truly appreciate is how much the distraction of a conversation helps pass the time. My body gets tired and my feet don't like the pounding of those extra miles but keeping the mind distracted seems to lessen the extent that these external issues impact the mind.
The above statement really set in when I was left alone to run the last 9 miles. I noticed my pace slowed down for a couple of miles. I made my second turn on McMullen Greenway by Starbucks and headed back. Each quarter mile post reminded me that I was getting closer to the end of my run.
Strangely, my energy seemed to be wavering at 18 miles. Then, at 20 miles I started to feel better. My splits returned to what they were earlier in my run. My mind seemed to be holding back energy and then it realized that I was getting close to the finish. It suddenly released some extra energy.
My fatigue wasn't washed away by this release of energy but the last few miles just didn't seem to be as hard. I am glad of it.
With my last run in the bag, there is just three weeks of tapering to come. I will freely admit. I am ready for it.
Sharing one thought at time,
The Cool Down Runner