Saturday's plan was 16 miles. I wasn't particularly excited about it. I could have woken up early and run while it was cool, but I really enjoy sleeping late, and doing so is the best way to catch up on sleep. By the time I woke up, it was sunny and hot. Rain was in the forecast for the afternoon, so I just ate and went, even though it was in the upper 70s and sunny. Last year the Chicago marathon was the same weather, so I need to be ready to run in any conditions.
It was hot. It was sunny. There was a nice breeze and I tried to stay in the shade as much as possible, but it was an uncomfortable run. Originally I thought about doing the same route as my last 16-miler, but when I started, it was on a different route and that was ok. I did a 6-mile loop and stopped at Kroger to refill my water. (I also got distracted by a garage sale with tons of Barbies, but I have almost all of the same ones...)
I ran another 5.5 and stopped at the library to refill once more, then I ran home and I was done.
My first 16-miler was 3:01 so I was hoping to get under 3 hours. Last time it was mega humid, but I woke up early to run before the heat got really bad. This time after my last mile - which was the fastest of the entire run - I gratefully stopped the watch and finally really looked at the time.
2:53!!! The final average pace was 10:49, which is pretty much spot-on for a training run when I was saddled with a heavy water holster. Most training programs advise to do the long Saturday run 30-90 seconds slower than race pace, so I was exactly where I should have been.
My legs were beat and definitely did not want to run another 10 miles, but I had also run 21 miles in the past three days. The three runs before the race will be 14 miles, none of them at tempo.
The idea of the long run is a significant difference between Hal and the Hansons. Hal said half your weekly mileage should be on Saturday and if you need to take off a day or two before or after, that's ok. The Hansons say Saturday should be approximately 30% of your weekly mileage, and something that really struck me - if you need a day off before or after your long run, you're doing it wrong!!!
I'm now tapering, but still running 6 days a week, with this Wednesday being another 10-mile tempo run, so it's not an easy taper!