With the impending doom of upcoming "Frankenstorm," I decided to head out for my #longesttraining runtodate on Saturday afternoon rather than the usual Sunday morning long run.
Mentally I split this run up into 3 different parts.
The first part consisted of an 8 mile run to Tufts University - to watch the Wesleyan field hockey team take on the Tufts University Jumbos. Even though the Cardinals didn't come out on top, it was still great to see all my old teammates/coaches for a quick visit! Following the game I had a few snacks from the tailgate (starbursts anyone?), and headed out for the next 1/3 of my run.
From Tufts, I headed towards the Mystic Valley Parkway, past the Oak Grove Cemetery onward to Wellington and some beautiful scenery. Fall was out in full force this weekend, making it very hard not to stop every ten steps and take pictures of the foliage and general New England awesomeness. I did get a little distracted/hungry during this section of the run, but nothing a few Gu's (chocolate and vanilla are my go-to these days) couldn't solve.
Once I finished the "country" loop of my journey I was back in Somerville, feeling not so motivated to run the last 8 back to J.P. I remedied this by making a deal with myself - once I got to the 6 miles to go spot I put on Pandora and rocked out to "Love you like a love song radio" the rest of the way home. I'm not sure if it was the fact that I knew I was almost done with my run, the music, or a "runner's high", but the last 6 or 7 miles of this run were the most enjoyable. Yes my feet hurt, yes my legs were feeling very tired, but somehow I still felt as though I was running strong and still had some gasoline left in the tank at the end.
The grand total for the day was 23.77 miles at an average of 9:17 min/mile. I'm feeling really good about this run overall. It was quite mentally challenging, but I just kept reminding myself that eventually I would be home and would have run 24 miles and that was going to be a great feeling.
With my longest training run under my belt, followed by limited soreness today, I am feeling really prepared going into the final three weeks of marathon training. For the next three weeks I'm going to be focused on staying hydrated, healthy, and rested. And with that, I'm off to bed!
Stay safe out there.