ORN: 24 miles, 4:25:39, R2/W1, 11:05/mile
The schedule called for 23 miles today, the classic "long run" three weeks ahead of a marathon. As I plied through the run, though, I started to wonder just when I last actually did this recommended preparatory event; I knew it had been a while. Scrolling back through my running long on Running Ahead (a great resource, by the way, and free) when I got home, I found it was last August 30 when I did a training run this long.
Interestingly, the run was quite ordinary. I remember well the day when a 24 mile run was unimaginable. Now, it was mostly just a matter of making sure I had a 5 hour block of time in which I could do it. The weather was not all that great; we've had lots of rain and then last night we had a real toad strangler, which put water over the running path in places I've never seen it before. It was overcast, humid and drizzled off and on during the run, which was good preparation for the muggy weather we could well have in South Bend three weeks from today.
The encouraging thing is that my run pace stayed steady to the end. In fact, from mile 19 on, I was pretty much in a very comfortable zone. Had no blisters, tweaks or pulls at all. While I planned on doing 23, I noted that with one extra loop, I could "round it up" to 24 miles, so I did. I could have easily done another 2.2.
It's amazing to me that a 24 mile run is not a big deal. I'm grateful for the health and experience to make that possible.