In yesterday’s post I wrote about my 5k PB, followed the next day by a solid 14k mid-distance run. Both of those runs were a boost to my confidence after a couple of tough runs earlier in the week.
Today’s run, I knew, was either going to add to the confidence or melt it away. I scheduled this week’s long run for today once I realized that there were no other days this week to fit in such a time-consuming run. I knew it would be a run on tired legs, but I figure there is some value in that as long as I listened to my body in order to avoid injury. To top it off we are under a heat advisory yet again. This was destined to be a slow run.
I went to the pathway along the Ottawa River and headed east. Surprisingly, my legs wanted to go faster than I had planned. Long story short, 17 km went by without much issue. My average pace, including some good walk breaks, was 6:13 min/km, faster than intended. But it was also all I had. By that point I was feeling the heat. I couldn’t get enough water into me and I was fantasizing about both chocolate milk and frozen lemonade. I did finish the 24 kms, but the last 7k were just about getting it done, walking any time I needed. Final average pace was 6:25, so it is pretty obvious just how much I slowed down. And that doesn’t even count the 10 minutes I turned off my watch at the 22k mark, refilled my camelback that had I had drained 20 minutes earlier, and tried to let my body cool off a bit.
Normally I would be disappointed with fading to the extent I did today. But those first 17 km felt great, way better than I had expected. I also ran 42 km in three days, 5 of them at what for me was a fast race pace, and a lot of them in some serious heat. Progress is being made.