From Again to Carthage by John L. Parker Jr.:
Early on he had felt "pretty much like dog-doo" (as he would write in his log) and was dreading the fast part, but then it had gone surprisingly well once he got into the rhythm. Workouts often unspooled like that. Years ago he had come up with what he called the Two-Mile Rule, which said simply that you shouldn't try to figure out how you're feeling until at least two miles into the workout. The phenomenon seemed to apply in the other direction too: Some days he felt great out the door and then just fell apart a few minutes later.
This morning's Long Run got off to a rough start. I was feeling slow and sluggish but decided to see if the Two-Mile Rule would apply and the rest of the run would feel better. After the first mile, I did pick up the pace but it took a lot of mental effort and I was having to really focus to keep at the tempo I wanted. My stride felt stiff and I was working hard today.
It didn't help that it was really humid and the air was still. Between the lack of air movement and the fairly flat route I chose, it was turning into a long, boring run. I've said before that I would rarely run more than 6 miles at a time if I wasn't training for something. Sometimes my Long Runs are more of a mental struggle than physical. Today my heart wasn't in it and I was getting bored. When I get bored, I feel tired. (That's why I try to avoid treadmills.)
The Two-Mile Rule didn't save me today and about halfway through the run, I backed way off the pace. I wasn't hurting (my back felt fine this morning) and I wasn't really that tired... I just didn't have the mental side together today and I gave in to the urge to slow down.
The pace of the second half was actually about where my schedule suggests I should be for a Long Run. I've been keeping my pace faster than suggested so far. The idea would be that a Long Run should be slow and relaxed and the shorter runs during the week are closer to Race Pace. But I wasn't slowing down today because it's recommended, I was slowing down because I felt like "dog-doo".
There are plenty of reasons that could explain today's rough run (the humid weather, I didn't fuel well, it's my first Long Run since taking two weeks off, etc.) but that doesn't make it much easier to swallow. It's just one of those times I have to remind myself that one workout doesn't make or break my training.
Goal For The Day: Long Run.
Distance: 13.45 Miles.
Time: 1:42:26. 7:37 Avg. (7:51, 7:13, 7:07, 7:18, 7:08, 7:08, 7:03, 7:59, 7:43, 7:49, 8:17, 7:59, 8:05, 3:40*)
Route: To Rte. 66/2 Laps/Home by way of Allenton Loop.
Conditions: 74 degrees at the start/humid. 7:30AM.
Notes: I know to fuel better than I did today. I need to practice Race Day fueling. My back tightened up this afternoon but it wasn't like last time... not nearly as bad. Seems to be responding to stretching this time too.
Daily Miles: 13.45 Miles.
Run - 201.73 Miles.
Bike - 98.53 Miles.
Swim - 7,200+ meters.