04 February 2015

Let the taper begin!

Today was my final long run for the Belvoir Challenge and it was a test of mental toughness to even get out the door this afternoon.  The timing wasn't exactly great because we had our monthly club handicap race last night and I managed to squeak across the line with a pb of 21:57 for 3 miles.  I'm well pleased with that because I almost skipped the run because of feeling tired but have absolutely no clue how I managed to get that time.  It is proof that marathon training doesn't have to equate to running slower at all distances.

So why did I get out and run 20 miles the day after running hard? Well, that brings me to another race...our final winter BDL XC* race is on Sunday so if I wanted to get the long run done and be somewhat recovered then it had to be done today or tomorrow and they are predicting a temperature drop overnight so this afternoon had to be the time.  I'm not going to lie, it was difficult today. Running solo on a hillier route than the previous three 20 milers into a very cold wind meant there were a few times when I wanted to just call it good before I even got to the half-way point.  It did get better once I got to mile 12 but then struggled through the last 2.5.  The damn relentless wind meant I was having to constantly blow my nose--snot rockets are not in my skill set--so that was always throwing my pace off.  I also should have my sanity questioned as to why I included the mile long uphill of the aptly named Long Lane into my route.  One thing I did right was to route myself near the motorway services "just in case" around the 5 mile mark because it became an "Oh yeah, gotta find the loo NOW!"

Please don't get the impression that today was a horrible experience, it was just a challenge in several aspects and I definitely needed the experience of having one long run done all on my own.  However I'm fairly sure I'm not going to be one of those runners who are grumbling about the taper, I am READY for it...although feel free to come back and say I told you so if I do turn into a cranky runner one week out from Belvoir.

*No way am I skipping the final cross country unless it's absolutely necessary, there is only one point separating first and second place in my VF45 age category!

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