Ah, the midweek 15 miler. It's been a staple in my last 3 marathon training plans. I must say that I enjoy these runs. Yes, I run them easier than tempo runs. Yes, I run them easier than Marathon Pace. But I don't run them easy. Today's 15 miler was at a 7:40 average pace, including a 9 minute warm up mile. So, it was mostly at like a 7:30-7:35 pace. That's not an easy pace for me.
For some reason, I just like doing this run. It's long enough that I want to quit before I'm finished, so I feel like I've accomplished something every time I run one. It's not so long that I'm out of commission for the rest of the day. I feel great right after this run. That may mean that I should run it a little harder, I don't know.
Today actually gave me back a little of the confidence that yesterday's 1200m intervals destroyed. For the first 5 miles today, I was coughing up my lungs... huge, firm hunks of phlegm. I didn't sleep well at all last night because I couldn't breathe and I was coughing and tossing and turning. Maybe I was slow yesterday because I couldn't fill my lungs with air because they were congested. Yeah, that's my excuse. I felt awesome immediately after today's run, but now I feel yucky. I feel like I have a chest cold and a sore throat from coughing.
Running makes me a better employee. If I weren't a runner, I would have called in sick today and slept in. But my conscience won't let me run a hard 15 miles and then take a sick day! And I wasn't about to miss a nice pre-dawn 15 miler through my hometown on a crisp, cool morning.