Yesterday morning I had a 16 mile long run scheduled, that I deemed my redemption run. Having a bad run is hard enough, but having a horrific long run can be enough to kill your confidence and leave you questioning everything. Even though I was excited to try another long run, I was nervous about what it would mean if it was as much of a disaster as the last one. I tried not to think about it too much, which didn't work all too well unfortunately.
The biggest problem during my long runs seems to be my mind, so I asked my dad to ride his bike alongside while I ran. He happily obliged. I wanted to get in a decent chunk of miles on my own before he got there so I could use him when things got tough.
I was really tired when my alarm went off at 5:15 so instead of getting up to eat well before running I continued to sleep. I snoozed until about 6:30 when I absolutely had to get up. I ate a big bowl of oatmeal and was quickly on my way out the door. For my long runs I have decided to drive to a great paved trail about 35 minutes north of my apartment. I left around 7:00 and luckily hit minimal traffic.
I started the run off feeling great. I was actually surprised how good my legs felt since I hadn't run much in the past two weeks. It was pretty chilly during the first few miles of the run, especially since the trail is shaded, but it was a gorgeous fall morning. I decided to switch my garmin out of autolap so I wasn't constantly reminded of my pace and consequently trying to run faster. I also left it on the main screen so I couldn't check how far I had left.
After the first 4 miles I started to feel a little defeated. I had 4 miles back to the car and then had to do another 8 mile out-and-back with my dad. When negative thoughts creeped into my mind I tried to focus on the present and only think about the 4 miles left to the car.
It was really nice to get a quick stretching break once I got to the car. I switched my water bottle and we were on our way. I wasn't really sure how it was going to go with my dad riding along side me but it was incredibly helpful. We chatted the entire time and the miles flew by. I was in shock with how fast it seemed like we made it to the turn around point.
The last four miles were definitely hard but so much better than if I was on my own. My dad kept me laughing despite how much pain I was in. I had run out of water, unfortunately, with about 2 miles left so those 2 miles were pretty brutal. The sun was coming out and I was really thirsty. Despite all this being with my dad didn't let me dwell on those things. We just kept talking and before I knew it the run was over.
16 miles 2:54:20 (10:52 pace)
I was also pleasantly surprised to see that my pace was under 11:00 min/mile. I have been trying to keep my long runs evenly paced and not go out too fast. I hit the lap button after every 4 miles and my pace ranged from 10:49-10:57 average. This was really a run I needed. I'm starting to feel ready for this marathon (I still have a lot of work though) and more importantly confident. I know I can do my remaining 18 and 20 mile long runs.