The long run is something that unites all marathoners, no matter what speed. In order to train for a marathon, you need to go long. It's a little ludicrous to non-runner, the idea of going out for 20 miles. Plenty of friends have asked me why I don't just run another six and be done with it. When I first started running, I would dread the long run. Then it became something I'd look forward to, mostly because it gave me an excuse to eat a ton afterward. (Ideal post-long run meal: bacon cheeseburger. Sometimes two.) From a training perspective, I realize now that I put too much stock in the long run. Instead of getting in the miles, I'd focus my training around it. Now, I'm following Pfitzinger and doing more tempo runs and the medium-long runs during the week. The one part of training that's confused me a bit is the midweek 14-and 12-mile runs. I wasn't sure what they were doing, other than making me sleepy at my desk. Now I know. I went for a 21-miler this morning. Odd as this is to say, it wasn't really hard. It was probably the 100th time I've run 20 or more. It's a long way, and I there are bound to be tough parts. But today's sailed by with the pace at about 7:45 or 7:40. I didn't run the last mile slower than the first, and I felt like I could easily keep running. Those midweek medium-long runs have given me a nice endurance base. My one concern is a little hamstring soreness in my right leg. I had a persistent hamstring injury two years that lasted forever, just a dull ache that stayed around for many months. My recovery plan is a bit unusual: I'm taking a four-hour bus ride to Washington, DC, to see friends. I hope there's no knife-wielding maniac onboard.
21 miles, 2:43:18