I was really excited about my run today, as it was my first EVER 13 mile training run. Prior to today, I never went more than 11-12 miles when training for a half. But determined to up my weekly mileage, I've put 13 and 14 mile runs in this time to see if it helps with my sub-2:00 goal.
I did my best to eat well and stay hydrated yesterday, got about 7 hours sleep, and then went through my pre-run checklist (yes, the slightly obsessive one I shared in my last post). The weather was beautiful outside and most importantly, there were no gusty winds! My plan was to run easy (which to me means about 10-11:00/mi) and just try to do the full distance. The first half of the run was relatively comfortable, but around the 7 mile mark I realized that I was locked into a slow slog. And I don't know about you, some days once I set a pace it is SERIOUSLY set, and I find it hard to really break out of it. I didn't get my second wind (after a 2nd gel) until mile 9...and by second wind I mean I no longer felt like I couldn't take a single step more--I felt like I could at least continue forward very slowly! Was so happy when my Garmin finally beeped that I had hit 13 miles.
Not really the run that I was hoping for and got me thinking...I don't think that I've had a really good long run since my injury yet. You know, the kind were you feel comfortable most of the way and you feel even stronger at the end? Nope, it's been quite the opposite, where I feel more like my long runs have been a struggle just to complete the distance of the week.
It reminded me that I'm still not back to where I was before my injury (a groin injury--left adductor and hip flexor), when I was really starting to feel like I was running well and getting faster. Take a look at my last long run, just about 1 year ago:
I was doing 9 miles at a sub-10:00/mi pace, and finished strongly at the end. A big difference compared to my long runs now. I starting running again in January, and thought I would have a good solid base by the time my training for Dublin started...but maybe I've overcooked it a bit. Wonder if it's worth reducing miles, focusing on quality....and perhaps try to break sub-2:00 at the Poppy Half in November rather than in Dublin.
What do you think? Sensible, or is it a just a very tired (and slightly discouraged) runner talking?