I'm following a training plan based on the Hanson Brooks Marathon Training Plan.
It's different than any plan I've ever followed. The biggest difference? The longest run I'm going to do is 18.2 miles (which is actually longer than they recommend, but I found a trail run that looks too fun to miss). In exchange for the lost long runs of 18-20 miles, I'm running 6 days per week including speed and strength workouts and other than speed days, I don't have a single run shorter than 6 miles 'til the week of the race.
This week, I substituted 3 miles of walking with a friend for the easy 6 on Monday, but I did everything else as prescribed. 37 miles and change. For CDA, I didn't hit that mileage 'til Week -8. My overall mileage is going to be much larger this time around.
Saturday's 6 miler was very difficult, and I was exhausted afterwards, so I was very apprehensive about Sunday's 10. But, the 10 was actually much more pleasant than the 6.
I chomped down a Power Bar Pure and Simple Energy Bar (roasted peanut butter... this may be my favorite energy bar I've ever tried! Yum!) on the drive out, and then my running buddy and I shared a package of the Cola flavored Energy Blasts on the run. The conversation, caffeine, and available sugars combined to make the last 10 of a 37 mile week much less difficult than I expected. Sure, we were slow, but that was fine. We are supposed to run the long run on tired legs -- that's the point, the long runs are supposed to feel like the last miles of the marathon.
Given how much better I felt than planned when I got back to the house, I decided not to push my luck. Rather than the planned lunch of gazpacho, I told E I needed something more substantial, so we agreed on sushi for lunch and gazpacho for dinner.
Before my shower, I drank 2 cups of vegetable juice from the juicer (Kale, apricot, carrot, celery, cucumber, tomato). Considering that I was starving, the juice did an admirable job of keeping me upright and functional through my tomato harvest and visit to the farmer's market until E and I sat for sushi.
By 2 PM, I felt renewed and easily finished my gardening todo list.
There were several variables between Saturday's 6 and Sunday's 10. But, at least one of them was that I intentionally ate to run/recover as opposed to just running. I like to think I can do 6 miles in just about any condition, and I probably can. But it's interesting to see that an intentional 10 can feel better (and leave me less trashed) than an un-thoughtfully executed 6.