My Long Slow Run (LSR) this weekend will be 13 miles. Wow. 13 miles. That will either equal or exceed my longest run ever - 2011's Austin Livestrong Half-Marathon. If I calculate my route exactly it will be 13 miles. If I go over, it will be my longest run. I'm feeling somewhat nervous just at the sheer distance and time it will take (and don't ask about the 15 mile run scheduled 2 weeks later or 17 mile run 2 weeks after that).
My last two LSRs have been subpar and very challenging. When I did the 9 mile run, I had just taken the Chi Running class so I tried to run as far as I could without taking walk breaks for the first 6-7 miles which pretty much broke me for the final two miles. My pace averaged 14:27/mile. When I did the 11 mile run I was either coming down with a chest cold or suffering the effects of eating too much gluten. I struggled throughout the run, walked a significant amount, and ended up with an average pace of 15:16/mile.
To encourage myself I keep telling myself that I have learned from the last two LSRs. I will use run-walk-run throughout and I am not stuffed up or suffering medically. I also realize that using Galloway's long run pace calculations I should do this run at about:
10:17 MM time x 1.2 (HM multiplier) = 12:20 + 2:00 (for a training run) = 14:20 + 2:00 to 2:30 (:30 for every 5 degrees above 60) = 16:20 - 16:50 / mile. Truly I would like to do the run at 14:30 - 15:00/mile.
But I'm still nervous about the sheer time and distance. I'm also nervous about the weather. The high for Sunday is forecast to be 109. I'm thinking that I'll get up at my usual 5:00 am to run the first 1 - 1:30 in the dark. It will still probably be 78-80 when I head out the door. It also means that I'm stuck trying to figure out how to manage my gear. I wear a water pack on my long runs which has small pockets. I can put some gels in the pockets, my keys, my phone. But if I wear my headlamp, I will want to take it off and then will have difficulty shoving it into the small pockets. Ditto but reverse that for my sunglasses. Do I want to shove them (tight fit) into my pack for the first 2 hours and then put them on or just run without? Do I want to carry some sunscreen with me? I don't want to put it on at the start because I always get it in my eyes and mouth from sweating and I want to avoid that at long as possible but do I just ignore it? Or do I head out with my headlamp, run 2 hours, come back home to fill with water and trade the headlamp for sunglasses and sunscreen? I'm worried that if I come home I'll get derailed by the kids and whatever else is going on.
It's a lot to think about but whatever I decide, I'll be heading out for a 13 mile run in two days!