One long run left before Chicago. 20 miles tomorrow and I will have a total 4 runs of 20 or more while training for this marathon. Peaking at 22 miles over hills I feel strong both physically and mentally for this one. Fargo I used a different training program, which only took me to 16 miles for a long run max. This time I went back to what has worked for me in the past, which meant fighting through the end of long runs over hills to give me the confidence that on the flat city streets of Chicago, I will have more than prepared for the distance and mental challenge that comes somewhere over 20 miles.
My first marathon I hit the wall at 23 miles. That year I trained up to 20 miles, so the next year I trained up to 24 miles on a flat course. My 24 mile run really was a 14 mile run with 10 miles of run/walking, but it did put me over the top mentally. I told myself that Chicago would cooler both temperature and atmosphere wise. Chicago would give me everything from a support perspective that my training run didn’t: Gatorade, loud people cheering, others running along and pace teams.
That year I qualified for Boston for the first time without hitting the wall. That 24 mile training run really blew, but it got me where I wanted to go.
This year the 22 miler was over hills and it was rough near the end. I ran it the whole way, so no run/walking and it did give me confidence that I can keep plugging away at mile 20, 22, 24 and all the way through 26.2 on the flat streets of Chicago and get me where I want to go….. you know, the B word again.