Monday I went out for my long run. I wasn't sure what the best strategy would be for it, even to the last minute. The idea I went with was to get in 22 miles.
Considering it's less than 4 weeks to Eugene, that is perhaps the best time to get in the longest/hardest run for a training cycle (using my own logic, which might be full of folly!). This leaves time for a body to absorb the stress of the workout before the race. And if it was a fail- plenty of time to have one more crack at it.
The biggest question I had was whether or not to try to run any of it at marathon pace. I could think of several good reasons for doing it, but also a few against. Thank you to EVERY person who posted their thoughts regarding marathon pace training on my last post. Each comment was helpful!
I have only ran at marathon pace in training once before- and that was in this cycle a few weeks ago. It makes sense to me to practice hitting and holding on to a pace you plan to perform at. Mostly, I see it as a confidence booster of a work-out... When you feel it in a race, you can reflect on how you ran at race pace, un-tapered and without race adrenaline. That's the psychological side.
The physiological side is different. I am not persuaded that the MP workouts add to stamina or endurance. Some might even say that they are an "easy run done too fast" to be a really good long run. There IS more wear and tear on me for having done this workout than if I had done a slow long run. But dang it, I am happy I did it! I might do my next one at easy pace, just to get plenty of time on my feet. I'll probably wait again until the day of that run to decide.
I didn't run Tuesday. A day off before my long run makes me antsy to get out there the following day, but I have faith that a rest day will be a good investment.
For Believers...I've had several people on my mind dealing with injuries, family issues, doubt, worry, health issues and was praying for some of those folks while on my long run. This verse comes to mind :
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.