Got it right, for once
Saturday was my longest run to date. I was scheduled to run 3 hours and 10 minutes. I believe the longest I have gone without stopping was right around 2 hours and 15-ish minutes. All of my previous runs that were greater than 2 hours of running have not been successful. It's very frustrating. It's not like a short run where you can pretty much remain in control of how you feel mentally as well as physically.
When you get to anything greater than 2 hours there are so many things you have to think about. The weather for one. Let's face it, Blacksburg is known for freaky weather and within a 3 hour span it's bound to change. The digestive system - I am sure it's safe to say that most people urinate at least once during a 3 hour time period....but you won't find porta-potties on the trail for your urinating needs. And forget about it if you feel a #2 coming on. The mind. What does one think about for 3 hours of running? My first choice is music, but I did finish an audiobook..... and it was an 18 hour audio book. haha. Food. You have to eat a lot before hand, and consume calories during the run. We're not talking about Jimmy John's either. My food of choice is PowerBar Gel in the tangerine flavor. I think I am pretty lucky that I can take one of these packets while still running. A few of my friends (you know who you are!!) have bad gag reflexes and have to take it little by little while stopped.
With all these different factors, sometimes it's just hard to know if a run is going to be successful. One factor that I think I have nailed down (because it worked) is my pre-run meal. Apparently I was not eating enough. This time around, I made sure I ate more than what I thought was enough. By the time I finished eating, I could barely breathe. But the result - my longest continuous run ever. My 3 hours and 10 minutes amounted to 18.75 miles. That's crazy! I literally could not move another inch after I finished. But I felt a sense of accomplishment because I did not stop during the run. I also had the help of Kev, who rode his bike for about 2 hours of my run. You should ask him how he felt after the run. ;-)