A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Last long run!

on September 27, 2014

Yesterday I woke up super early to get my 11 miles done. Definitely proud of myself for getting that done on a workday! The last long run of a training cycle is such a nice accomplishment, partially because I finished knowing that the next time I ran 11 miles there would be people cheering me on because it’ll be race day! The last long run is also  nice because it gives me a chance to test out things for race day.  After all, “nothing new on race day” is probably the best and most consistently given race day advice out there.

– I had oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, just like I do before most of our long runs and just like I plan to do on race day. I’ll be able to bring oatmeal and grapes with me for my race day breakfast, so it’s definitely what I wanted to practice with (plus a cup of coffee of course).  One nice thing about the Des Moines half marathon is that I’ll be in a hotel within walking distance and shouldn’t have to arrive nearly as early as I did for the Princess race. That’ll allow me to eat breakfast about an hour before race start, which is my usual pre-race timing.

There is something so soothing about oatmeal when I'm up WAY too early in the morning.

There is something so soothing about oatmeal when I’m up WAY too early in the morning.

– It’s also a good time to test any fueling/hydrating strategy you’re going to use. I think I’m actually going to carry my water bottle with me for this half marathon as I’ve been doing that for all of my long runs and don’t mind it at all. I also really liked not having to go through the chaos of water stations at my 10 mile race as it let me keep to my planned intervals.

Those were my last 2 salted caramel gus!

Those were my last 2 salted caramel gus!

 

-Speaking of testing out fueling, one of the two gu’s I used (I always bring an extra) was peanut butter and while I liked the taste, the texture was so thick it was hard to get out of the package! Majorly frustrating but good to find out on an easy training run rather than in the midst of a race.

– The long run is also a good chance to test out your outfit, down to the last detail. This is crucial if you’re wearing a costume, of course, but a good idea regardless of what you’re wearing as it can clue you in to things that shift or spots you may chafe. For the Princess Half Marathon, I actually did my last long run on the treadmill at the gym just so I could practice in my actual race outfit which was more suited to the anticipated 70s+ in Florida in February than the single digits we had in Omaha at the time.

I'll be going with the newish Brooks shoes for the half marathon as I loved them for this 11 mile run!

I’ll be going with the newish Brooks shoes for the half marathon as I loved them for this 11 mile run!

– With my last long for my Princess Half Marathon, I also practiced my planned pacing intervals and the music I was going to listen to for the race. This time around, I didn’t do that because as stressed I’ve been lately, I just needed a nice easy run. I’ll practice race pace intervals with my 8 miler next weekend and likely test out my music then too. Music (as opposed to my usual audiobook or podcast) feels like racing to me so I’ll definitely save it for that more dedicated pace workout.

Part of the reason I have doubts of doing 13.1 miles in a few weeks is that even on this hilly, easy run, my last mile was faster than the ones before it!

Part of the reason I have doubts of doing 13.1 miles in a few weeks is that even on this hilly, easy run, my last mile was faster than the ones before it!

How long is your last long run for a half marathon? This training plan offered me the option of 11-13 miles and I only had time for 11 miles on a work day. I know some of the Galloway plans go up to 14 miles, but I have to say that I really liked that I hadn’t gone that far before the race. For me, having the mental kudos of “Hey, this is further than you’ve ever run before” during those tough last two miles at Princess was so motivating. This time, I don’t feel like I really need to get to 13 miles before the race because I’ve done it before. I have no doubt that I can do it again. It’s not worth risking injury by pushing too hard at this point.

All in all, it was a great, confidence boosting long run to end the training cycle on. It felt easy and fun and left me still loving running, which is all I can ask of a long run. 🙂 Before I know it, race day will be here and I’ll get my victory lap for all of these early mornings and many miles. I’m definitely looking forward to it!

 

 

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8 responses to “Last long run!

  1. Kristin says:

    Awesome job!! So happy you feel confident and ready to go! I’m running my half next Sunday so wow…about 1 week to go!! Kinda scary!! You’re going to have a fabulous race!! It’s always good to end on a happy note, which you definitely are!! Keep up the fab work and rock the rest of your runs!! XOXO! Have a super weekend!! 🙂 🙂

  2. Way to get that last long run done! You are going to rock your race! Enjoy taper time :0)

    • I don’t feel antsy at all about tapering this time around, which is nice. I’m mostly looking forward to sleeping later in the morning!! 🙂

      On Sun, Sep 28, 2014 at 4:00 PM, A Little More Each Day wrote:

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  3. Jen says:

    Great job! I Love hoW the TLAM plan gives you a range for the longest run. Sometimes it’s time restraints and sometimes we just have bad days. So I’m going to play it by ear as to how long I’ll do.

    • It helps that I know 11 miles was enough to carry me through with my first half marathon. I definitely appreciate the ranges (and confess I’ve almost always ended up on the short end of the range, just because of time!).

      Sent from my iPad

      >

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