Well I really couldn't ask for a better day for a long run. Yesterday I ran 22 miles. The weather was near perfect. It was sunny, low to mid-30's about 5-8mph winds. It was a really really nice day. The roads were dry, except for a section here and there where the snow has drifted and not melted.
I was hoping this 22-miler might be like my last 22-miler, last spring when I was three weeks out from the Lake Geneva Marathon. I felt so good that day I could have gone forever. That's how you like to feel after a long run. Yesterday, I felt pretty good, but felt a little slow. Of course, it's a long run and it's supposed to be slow, but I still felt obligated to maintain a certain pace. I did fall off about 30 seconds per mile the last two or three miles. My last mile was good, right up where it was at the beginning, but the 20th and 21st miles were a little slow. My groin/hip flexors were definitely hurting when I got done. But it's 22 miles. It's not supposed to be a walk in the park. I took my time stretching afterwards, and this morning I don't feel any acute pain, just general soreness. My 5-miler today should be slow and painful for the first mile or so, and then hopefully just slow after that. I did have some pain and extreme tightness in my ankles after I'd been sitting for awile, which is odd. I don't usually have any aches and pains in my ankles. They seem to be okay today.
I also started to feel a sharp pain in my right temple every so often starting about mile 16. It was distracting. I drank a little more water, thinking maybe it was a dehydration issue. It hurt for the rest of the run and then the rest of the night, so I need to find out why I got a headache in the middle of my run. I didn't like it and I don't want to do it again. It probably was dehydration. Of course, the exertion could be a part of it too, but I don't remember ever getting a headache during a run before. I have before and after, but not during. Strange.
So 22 miles are in the books and I'm none the worse for wear. Still wondering how I'm going to run a race more than double that distance in a few short months. I really feel the need to get on the trails and get to the right pace and start a run/walk strategy. I haven't practiced any of that yet.
I ate pop-tarts for my fuel. 2/3 of one at 7 miles, another 2/3 at 13 and the final 2/3 at 19. I didn't feel like I hit a wall or crashed or anything like that. During the race, I'll have to take a look at where the aid stations are. I'll be eating at each one, probably. Fuel early and fuel often. I sure don't want to bonk when it's preventable. I'm still treating this like marathon training. I can't wait to start getting on the trails. With all the snow here, it'll be a while yet, though.
Next snowstorm is tomorrow. Good thing Tuesdays are my rest day.