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!"
*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!