This morning was my second-to-last long run of training, 11 miles. Up until now I have been using the non-recommended method of running as long as I could before taking a walk break, even though everything I've read has said to take breaks early and often, before you need them. With only 2 long runs left I figured I should try a new strategy today, since I haven't always been feeling the best during/after my long runs.
My new plan is to take 1/4 mile walk breaks at 3 of the water stops at the half-marathon, at 3.2, 6.7, and 9.6 miles. Each running segment will be 2.65-3.25 miles, totally manageable. Today to make it easier to remember during the run, I took walk breaks at 3.5, 7.25, and 9.5 miles. It went much better, I felt much stronger, and I recovered much faster than previous long runs. I felt fine afterward when I usually feel like laying on the couch for a few hours. So I think this is a good strategy to go with. Overall my average pace was not much slower than normal (12:06/mile, also had to stop to tie my shoe once) and my total race time would be around 2:38 if I do the same pace on race day. I hope to go a little faster, I was purposely going slower since it was just a training run. The good thing is I was able to maintain miles between 11:30-12 min the whole time, when I usually slow down a lot at the end.
After the run I showered and had breakfast and we headed down to the Outer Banks for a few hours. We had Dare Devils Pizza and got some homemade ice cream at Scoops. I also got some fudge for later tonight, yum! I can't remember the last time I ate this much, my body is just using up everything I put in it.
Next weekend is 12 miles but I'm not sure where we will do it since we will be in Oregon. I can't believe the race is so close now. Only 3 weeks to go!