**The title of this piece seems even more relevant now as I just stumbled upon this article sitting in my draft box. I thought I’d posted this 23 days ago, but clearly not.
Therefore, forgive the time/date references but I thought I should still put this out there.
After last week’s 18 mile long run, I had it in my head that today’s would somehow be shorter. I recalled past plans dropping back to 12-15 miles after the 18… But I thought I should do a quick check of the Higdon intermediate training plan. It turns out that I have a poor memory.
Bugger! I think that sums it up nicely. Turns out I was expect to do 20 miles today. Lucky I checked. <grumble>.
I had not eaten well on the day before (as we were visiting Dutch Wonderland with the kiddies) so I wasn’t loaded up with carbs and raring to go. However, that’s what the plan called for so I set that as a target in the back of my mind, with the understanding that if I wasn’t feeling it then I’d simply change my plan.
The Entrance to Dutch Wonderland: the most laid back young kid-friendly amusement park we’ve been to.
Next I found that the temperature had suddenly decided to drop massively. It was 38F this morning. Brrr. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I broke out a warmer long sleeved running top and some tights… Note that the tights probably weren’t necessary but I was feeling cold on the inside so I opted for them.
Geared up and psyched up I headed out to my usual spot on the Perkiomen Trail. A 20 miler would mean running from my start point all the way to the end at the edge of Green Lane park.
The trail was stunning today, full of autumnal colours and smells but you have to keep an eye out for the fallen nuts from some of the larger trees; it would be very easy to step on these and twist an ankle.
I got passed by a speedy chap who looked like he was also doing a long run… He was significantly faster than me. It made me feel quite down for a moment and then I decided, what the hell, it doesn’t matter as I’m really racing myself, not anyone else. So, I carried on and gave him a cheery wave as he passed me on his return leg.
How I initially felt as I was passed. Picture by: The Oatmeal.
There were quite a few runners out, although they were mainly standing around rather than actually running each time I saw them. Also, there were many cyclists out and I suspect there was an event on for them. I think, perhaps it is a ride that I’ve done in the past.
As I drew closer to the end of the run, the temps crept up into the higher 50s and I found the last mile quite tough. I was convinced that I was slowing down but my tracker was telling me otherwise. I finished the 20.18 mile run (because the 0.18 extra counts even more!) with a pace of 7:59. Not too bad given my total lack of preparation or planning for a run of that magnitude.
Now to get on with the day and with enjoying consuming all of those lovely extra calories I’ve earned. My wife is busy in the kitchen right now making cookies with my daughter… To misquote The Princess Bride: “There will be crumbs tonight!”.
Crumbs, Inigo. Calm down, mate. Have a cookie…