The long run is a staple of the distance training plan and the marathon training I am following has the long run firmly planted each and every week. I usually go for my long run on a Sunday as this allows me to attend karate training on a Saturday morning and then use Monday as a rest day. During 2011 I was building up so much fitness and stamina that I would go to karate on a Saturday and Sunday plus a 13+ mile run on the Sunday afternoon without any problem at all.
This week I was scheduled for an 11 mile slow run on Sunday but with every weather report stating that snow was going to hit nearly all of the UK from Saturday evening onwards, I changed my schedule so that karate was shelved for the week and instead I went for the long run on Saturday.
Last weekend I faced my nemesis and lost (Gunnersbury Park) so this time I reverted to an old favourite and ran an extended version of my original 10k circle. I armed myself with my running belt to store a gel, some energy beans, and a £2 coin so I could buy a drink to wash the gel down. I get a bit OCD about having a £2 because it means no coins clinking around and ever since last summer when I went out on a warm Sunday long run along the Thames and I found every place on the route had raised their water bottle price above the £1 I was carrying. Gits.
Much to my surprise, I found that running 11 miles was no problem and I thoroughly enjoyed the run. I timed my run to pause at a newsagents around the 50 minute mark so I could buy myself a small bottle of water and used that to consume the gel before I ran the remaining route. I had to miss karate training but it was a wise decision because the snow started to fall Saturday night and on Sunday everything was covered like a winter wonderland. I seemed to make up my lack of karate exercise through building snowmen with The Son and a long snowball fight against the kids across the road.