Yesterday, I did my last long run before I run Around The Bay (ATB) on the 25th. I think I’m as ready as I can be.
What a difference a week can make. Last Sunday I headed out to do the same 14-mile route, but I didn’t make it the whole way. After running five miles on the increasingly snow- and ice-covered trail, I was tired and starting to feel a new pain.  After another four or five miles of slower running and a few unsuccessful attempts to stretch it out, I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and just packed it in.
By contrast, my run yesterday started with me wearing shorts and being helped along the trail thanks to a decent tail wind. I had a plan, too. My goal was to run in the neighborhood of 8:30-9:00 per mile and keep my heart rate right around 150 BPM. Every few minutes I told myself, “We are going to take this easy. We are not going to be speeding up to catch people.” And for the most part that worked. When I got to the high point of the route at mile six, I was still feeling really fresh. In fact the first 10 miles were pretty easy.
When I turned into the wind in the 10th mile, I started thinking about ATB even more. Scully told me about how the hills on the course are packed into the last 10+K. I slowed down because of the wind and then a bit more as I started going back uphill toward home. I figured this is how ATB would be as well.
Yesterday was something of a practice run for ATB. I wanted to see how my muscles and joints felt after a few difficult months of injury and rebuilding: Everything felt fine. I hoped to get a sense of where I was with my conditioning: I’m not the fastest I’ve been in the last couple of years, but I’m pretty sure I can go do the distance. I wanted to work on my pace: I held back and averaged 8:50/mile and 150 BPM over the 2:02 of running 14 miles. Diabetes? I started at 118 mg/dL and ended at 113. Woot! 
My fourteen miles yesterday were also the longest I’ve run. Ever. I had hoped to be running closer to the 18.6 miles of the race by this time, but this is as close as I’m going to get before race day. I know I can do the distance, but I wouldn’t mind knowing what those last 4.6 miles are going to feel like when I’m already tired. I’m excited to find out.
Next stop: Hamilton, Ontario.
1 — The butt bone connected to the hamstring bone connected to the calf bone connected to the foot bone. Or something like that. Suffice it to say, they all hurt last week . . . except (ironically) my foot. I suspect I need to work on strengthening my stabilizing muscles.
2 — Temp basal of 80% starting an hour before I started. A Greek yoghurt (20g of carbs) about 10 minutes before I started. A couple of glucose tablets to give me an initial bump. An energy gel every 40 minutes. And 16 oz. of water every hour. Let’s see if I can bottle the magic of yesterday’s run.