This morning I ran my first 20+ long run since the marathon 3 weeks ago. It was a little rough because it was humid from the start at 4 am and it warmed up quite a bit by the time I finished at 9:30 am effectively zapping my energy, but I had a great time running with my group and helping many of them finish their longest run ever.
We started with 8 miles at 4 am and already had 11 runners with us. I kept counting them at each water stop to make sure i didn't lose anyone lol. At 6 am, we picked up 4 more for another 8 mile loop, then dropped off a few at 8 am and went back out for another 6-10 miles. We did a great job sticking to our training pace. Other than the typical soreness that comes from running this long, nothing hurt like it was injured or to the level I experienced at the marathon.
To be safe, we ran with 1:1 intervals at a pace no faster than 13 min/mi for the first 20 miles. After that the 7 of us that were left dispersed and finished on our own, some keeping the same intervals all the way to the end, some walking, and I chose to switch to a slow 3:1 interval for the last 2 miles because at that point it felt easier to run for longer slower intervals than walk more often. I ran a total of 22.26 miles in 4:59:02 at an average pace 13:26. I don't think I had negative splits, but I did keep a fairly consistent pace throughout. See the map for details http://j.mp/td1J6K -- I think those 2 slow miles where when I forgot to stop the app while waiting to cross some intersections.
After I got back to the school, I hydrated, refueled, and stretched while I waited for those who were running an addition 4 miles. It was the first 26 mile run for 2 of them and I wanted to be there to see them finish. Both finished their last long run with a smile and are now ready to taper for the Disney Marathon in 3 weeks.
As soon as I got home, I sat in a bath of cold water (no ice this time), showered and covered myself in compression gear. It was already past 11 am and I was starving, so we went to 5 & Diner for my favorite post-run meal: eggs, grilled cheese, and a black and white milkshake. We ran a few errands on the way home, then I took a nap and woke up renewed to cook some chilli before heading out for some holiday fun. I feel great now and hardly sore, so I'm forever grateful for compression pants :)