Today was the day; my last “long” run before the taper in preparation for London. After today it’s all about banking what I have done, the training is effectively over and now it’s a matter of keeping fit, out of trouble and fresh for the day.
The objective was 18 miles to be done via 4 laps of a local route, never more than a mile from home so I can even have a water stop. Helen joined me for the first two laps and it was nice to have company even though she wanted to go much faster than I (because she only had two laps to do). Laps present their own psychological challenges because on say, lap 2 you are thinking “even the next time around here won’t be the last” so it probably takes a little more willpower to keep going. The other problem is that your proximity to home presents great temptation.
The first three laps were OK (which is promising) but by mid way though lap 4 I was struggling. By mile 15 when I was about 200 yards from home, I really hit “the wall” and felt so spent that I was really ready to call it a day. As I covered those 200 yards though, I contemplated what I might feel like to stop so short of my goal, this would be the final opportunity for me to prove to myself I had the stamina to do a Marathon in 3 weeks time. Something in me kept me going, just. The up-hill sections were too much and I had to walk, but somehow I made it round to reach 18 miles!
When I got home and completed my stretches and post run excercises, I had difficulty even standing up for any length of time. Sitting here now, after being fed, I feel a lot better but still drained. I reckon I’ve pushed my stamina to the limit today.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,” Romans 5:3-4 ESV