It has definitely been a fairly warm summer, which has made those long runs somewhat challenging, considering my propensity to collapse during hot weather runs. Since I was so busy with horsey stuff this past weekend, I did my long run this morning (Monday).
Coach Brian wanted me to do 18 to 19 miles (28.8-30.4 kilometres), with the last 2 to 5 miles at marathon pace (4:52/k or 7:50/mile).
I got up a 6 AM and was out on the roads by 6:45. I kept pretty consistently to 5:11/k (8:20/mile) or better for the first 24 kilometres. I did those 24 kilometres in 8k loops of the block on which we live, so every pass around I'd stop for a quick break. "Quick", of course, is all relative. At the start it was just enough to gobble down a peach and take a schlurp of water. But during the 2nd break, I took about 5 minutes to cool down. The sun was up and beating down on me, and I could feel the heat. By the time I was done the 24 kilometres -- and gearing up for the last push at marathon pace -- I felt like I was about 1000 degrees (and at that point, it doesn't really matter if it is Farenheit or Celcius -- it's just friggin' hot!).
So my plan was simply to cool down -- and take as long as I needed to cool down -- before heading back out onto the road. Jenny got me ice in a towel to put over the back of my neck and on my back. I sat in the shade and just dripped. But after about 10-20 minutes (felt longer), I headed back out. No shirt. Just needed to get the remaining run in.
No question, it was still tough. It took a bit for my legs to get moving fast enough to make marathon pace, but once it happened, I was able to keep going without a huge amount of trouble. The last 2 kilometers were tough, but I still had the energy and actually did the last kilometre at a pace of about 4:39/k (7:29/mile). Here are the splits for the last 5k (targeting 4:52):
So, it was a tough run. It wasn't an ideal run, considering the rest breaks. But I definitely did the mileage and I definitely did it when I was tired. I just didn't do it when I had a core temperature that would fry an egg (and my brain).
I'm going to chalk this up as a tough but successful run.