AM: 40min run, ~10 miles @ 6:25, 50 min run (~ 21 miles)
After Wednesday's workout I had a hard time getting my legs recovered. Maybe it was all the biking I did last week, or that I was about to hit 90+ miles after barely running the week prior. Whatever it was, it did not give me enough confidence to get my long run in Saturday, so instead I ran a relaxed 12 miles wth strides and pushed the harder session until Sunday.
I asked Houston to see if he could recruit one of his men to pace me for 10 miles of my 20 miler. It turns out must of his guys run their long runs at my marathon pace, which means they would not be sacrificing themselves (somewhat). Once I got to the track I was surprised to find a pack of 5 guys waiting to assist with pacing duties. We set off, running two loops of the hilly campus 5, boring but probably the best in terms of traffic. Immediately I felt tight and short of breath and spent most of the first loop trying to get comfortable.
Call it whatever you will, maybe pride, but as bad as I felt I wasn't throwing in the towel. I needed this workout, and frankly I appreciated the help and accountability. Even though 6:25 pace did not feel even slightly relaxed, I knew it wasn't because of fitness, rather it was fatigue, which is a common feeling to experience in the late miles of a marathon.
In the end I finished it, even went 10 minutes longer on the "cool down" than I originally planned. This is what Houston likes to call "making the best of your bad days," and, I did just that.