I regarded today with some trepidation as it was the date for my longest training run. Previously I had not run for more than two hours but this one was supposed to be for three, so getting on for the marathon distance.
I am lucky around here in at least having plenty of pleasant areas to run in. I started below Alexandra Palace in Alexandra Park, then went via Highgate Woods to Hampstead Heath, which provides a long circuit with plenty of hills. I certainly felt myself slowing down after the first hour and a half and the hills became much more of an effort. Curiously my breathing, which tends to slow me down on shorter runs, was not a problem today; it was the weariness in my legs which affected me more and more as time went on.
For the sake of realism I extended my run along the local railway walk to Finsbury Park so I ended up doing 3hours. That was good psychologically as I now know that I can push myself to do a bit more even when I am pretty tired. I suppose that I did 17 or 18 miles altogether, so not to far off the marathon distance. Writing this three hours later I do not feel too exhausted so hopefully all the training has had some effect.
Now the training schedule tails off with a 1 hour run next weekend followed by a series of short runs to keep things ticking over until the big day. Then, hopefully, I shall have the responsibility of actually justifying the sponsorship to keep me going, and can reflect that any discomfort I suffer running is fairly paltry compared the challenges faced everyday by displaced and marginalized people in Sudan.