Last night I noticed that I was coming down with a mild (at least at this point) sinus cold, and I woke up with it this morning as well. Nothing serious at this point, but I'm just feeling a bit on the "blah" side with a runny nose. I went ahead and slept in since this week is a holiday for me, then got started on the workout about 7:30.
As I typically do when it is on the cold side outside, I started by spending 20 minutes on the Elliptical machine on Level 8 / Incline 1 for my pre-run warmup, then went out and had a nice run of 4.06 miles @ a 9:05 average pace. I'll have to be sure that when I do my next planned long run that I dial that back to the 9:30 area (or slower).
I didn't really notice any weakness during the run, but more than my normal level of "snot rockets" to keep things cleared out. I'm hopeful that this will pass quickly, since the long run is planned for Thursday morning early. The weather should be perfect for it (predicting low 40's with no rain and very light wind), so I hope this cold doesn't stand in my way.
I do find that the runs longer than 13 miles or so tend to seem intimidating to me leading up to the runs, and this one is no exception. Every time I've attempted on longer, I've just had to stop thinking about it that morning and start out on auto-pilot. I've mapped out a nearly 9 mile loop through my sub-division, and my plan is to "go the distance" for the first time in my life...three loops up to 26.3 miles (26.21875 is "officially the marathon distance, so I plan to just tack on a bit to have it covered).
Although this will be a physical challenge for me, I think it will be a lot more mental. Since I'll be right by the house at or just slightly after 18 miles, and my longest continuous run ever was 21 miles back in the middle of November, I'll be sorely tempted to just "call it good"...I can see that coming. The last time I did a long run it was roughly a 7 mile loop, and every time I passed the house I had to just sort of "zone out" and keep going. I find that if I DON'T think about quitting, that is what has got me through in the past. We'll see how this one works out.
It would actually be a success to cover 24 miles, and I wouldn't be completely bummed out if that is what I'm able to achieve. That being said, I would be really close to a full marathon distance (even if it is in training and not an official race), and it would be cool to be able to complete that distance in 2011. Maybe I'll try this....
I'll do a very light cycling workout tomorrow (probably on a stationary bike at the gym since it isn't going to be overly warm outside), then nothing on Wednesday.
I've got to say that I really like the challenge of these longer efforts, even if they are sort of intimidating to me at my present level of fitness. I'll do this like the last one, with no support crew or outside aid, carrying my fluids, GU, and electrolyte capsules with me in my running pouch. I'll have 4-10 oz. bottles of Gatordade, six GUs, and 4 electrolyte capsules. I have RunKeeper call out time, distance, and average pace every 1/4 mile (I like the feedback), and I drink about 3 to 4 ounces at every 2 mile mark, take a GU at every 4 mile mark, and an electrolyte capsule at every 6 mile mark. That should exhaust my fluids and everything else at around the 24 mile mark.
Success or not, my plan is to post an update of the effort on Thursday sometime. Until then, happy running everyone !