Training for Nashville hasn't exactly gone by the plan the way that training for Huntsville did. I've raced instead of doing the true long run mileage a couple of times, and my weekly mileage hasn't been quite as high. I've been aiming for 70+ miles per week and I've really been hitting 60-65. I have a couple of 70+ mile weeks, but I have a couple of 50- mile weeks to balance it out. I've been less motivated, more stressed (external factors), and less disciplined. I figure that will show up on race day.
Friday was supposed to be a holiday at work. Well, my work is customer driven, and my customer wasn't off, so I wasn't off. It's part of the business. Anyway, I planned to work the 8k Fund Run on Saturday and take advantage of the holiday to run a 20 miler. But I had to work. I figured I'd get everything done by lunch, 2:00 PM at the latest. But no. I absolutely worked until 5:00. Yuck.
All of that babbling is to set the background for this. I wasn't going to miss or shorten this week's long run, no matter what. I had planned on leaving work at 2:00 Friday and just running on the Monte Sano trails until I couldn't run anymore or 20 miles, whichever came last. :) Well, there simply wasn't time to do that before dark. Ugh.
So I drove back to Athens and ran one of the most boring 20 milers imaginable. There is a 1.5 mile walking track at Athens that has a couple of out and backs that are 0.6 and 1.2 miles each. The track is lit and the out and backs are not. So, I ran the out and backs until dark. I had about 10.5 miles done when dark hit, so I did 6 laps on 1.5 mile track to get to 19.5 and then did a quarter out and a quarter back to get 20 in for the day.
Friday's run was fueled by grit and determination. I didn't want to run it, but I didn't want to skip it, either. I'm not an evening runner, so it was uncomfortable. I had a boring route. I just ran 20 miles an wore a smile on my face for most of it. I'm glad that's over. I hope that pays off.