Final long run

Anyone else find the last long run before a marathon kind of bittersweet? Don’t get me wrong–I am always ready for it and ready to embrace the taper. But it’s also kind of hard to let go after a long training cycle.

IMG 1931 224x300 Final long run

Time to lighten the load on the feet

I find the long run–the cornerstone of most marathon programs–to be my favorite part of the training. What’s better than spending several hours doing what you love? And if the company is right, the weather is perfect, and the legs are flowing, it just doesn’t get any better.

After months, not having more of the really big ones left is kind of a letdown. The final long one, in fact, is rather like a punctuation mark on your training cycle.

So I’ll embrace this weekend’s long run and savor it. This one should be extra special because 16 miles of it will be spent leading a pace group in our club’s Metric Marathon. I’ll do two miles before the race, then line up with my “pacees” and lead them to their goal time. Afterward, I’ll add on another four miles. Should be the perfect way to finish out.

How do you feel about the final long run before a big race? Happy, sad, or a bit of both? 

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  1. Being a pacer is too cool! Enjoy every step! Also love love the shoes. So cute!

  2. What no more long runs, I know I really shouldn’t be running a half this weekend before my marathon, but I’m not racing the marathon, so I should be OK. but this last weekend was my last long run. First on the Saturday I did 2h20 on the mountain (only 20km 950m climb, and mostly rocky single track) then on Sunday I ran a half marathon followed by 9km. Long run done…

    This weekends half is on Saturday, so I’ll try and stay off the mountain on Sunday, as I should start to think about a taper.

    Enjoy your race.
    Coach Dion recently posted..TRAIN FOR A MARATHONMy Profile

  3. Your last long run plan sounds great! I totally get the bittersweet feeling… I did my last 20 miler last Sunday with a half marathon thrown in. It was so nice to just run the race without any time goals, crossing the finish mats having completed 19 miles and knowing the last mile would bring me to my final 20. That’s so cool that you’ll be a pacer! Have a great time!
    GreenGirlRunning recently posted..No Naps, No Problem?My Profile

  4. Ive done one race.
    Miz recently posted..Tradition!My Profile

  5. Long runs are my favorite too. Enjoy pacing and your last LR! Sounds like a very productive day. :)
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..The First SnowMy Profile

  6. Enjoy the pace gig!
    Yes I find the final long run to be kind of momentous (especially if the training cycle was a decent one and I actually DID some long runs). I tend to review the entire training journey while I”m out there. THe race is icing on the cake!
    Marcia recently posted..Going Gluten FreeMy Profile

  7. If it’s a good last long run, it’s a great feeling! A bad run, though, can mess with my head. I’ven had bad long runs before great races, though, and I just try to keep that in mind.
    Gracie (Complicated Day) recently posted..Running pays offMy Profile

  8. Final long runs always make me sad because I know I have done all I can do and it is time to slow down and trust my body. I hate recovering after big races so knowing I won’t run that far on my own for a long time makes me even more sad. I haven’t run more than 13 miles since May, I can’t wait to run long!!!!
    Robin recently posted..Mommy BribesMy Profile

  9. If it’s a good long run, I feel good about it! If it’s not so good..I worry about what it means! That’s normal right? lol
    Kierston recently posted..Rise Above The Negativity!My Profile

  10. You always say exactly what I’m feeling and thinking. I felt exactly the same way a few weeks ago. I wish the best of luck at CIM. I will be virtually cheering you on and sending fast and powerful thoughts and prayers.
    LisaM@RunWiki recently posted..Picky Bars Mini Gluten Free Peanut Butter PieMy Profile

  11. I too love the long run portion of any training schedule– I get the most accomplished feeling when I’m done with it!
    Heather@Just a Colorado Gal recently posted..Unmotivated ThursdayMy Profile

  12. Both……and long runs are my favorites too, tho I’m starting to like speedwork way more than I’d expected. Now fighting the onset of serious taper nerves and snappiness, about to leave the house for the drive to the Richmond half.

  13. Bittersweet totally captures my feelings on the long run, but the dread mostly comes from the fact that the taper is so tough! A mental collapse during the taper (did I train hard enough, fast enough, long enough, Can I actually do this?) usually sets in about 2 weeks post-last long run so the last long run shows what’s around the corner!
    Sheil recently posted..Holly Jolly Half MarathonMy Profile

  14. Pacing a group for your last long run sounds like a great way to finish up your training cycle!
    I have opposite feelings about my last long run. I’m always SO ready to be done and start my taper! Long runs have never been my favorite (imagine that for a marathon runner!) so I’m always happy to get it over with.
    Have a great last long run!
    Jen B. recently posted..Cold Weather CommandoMy Profile

  15. I do love my long runs, although I prefer the 12-15 range… the longer runs are harder to fit in and can leave me wiped out, but I do love the satisfaction of completing a long run. Enjoy pacing!
    Laura recently posted..To marathon, or not to marathon?My Profile

  16. I can’t believe that your last long run is already here. Time flies when you are having fun, right? I usually really look forward to them and use the last one as my final gauge towards my anticipated finishing time. After I am done then I start freaking out about the race itself. :-)
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..Friday Favorites: Adios 28!My Profile

  17. Pacing sounds like a great way to wrap up your long runs – have fun this weekend!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Thursday Thoughts – Race WeekMy Profile

  18. Oh that’s an awesome way to end a training cycle! I bet you will be a fantastic pacer. Soak it up. I’m kinda looking forward to ending my training as this is the hardest I’ve worked thus far and I’m pretty tired coupled with lots of other things to cross my “to do” list.
    Fueled by Spite recently posted..Long Run MissedMy Profile

  19. Admittedly, the marathon is not my favorite distance, which is why I continue putting off a 4th one. So the last long run comes with a bit of elation that I don’t have to focus as much on running for a few weeks. We have one of those relationships where I love running when I love it, but when I need a break, I don’t even wanna think about it ;) Have fun leading your pacers! I think that’s a great way to do your last big run before the taper!
    Jen @ ConcreteNCoffee recently posted..Back From the Brink (of cell service) & #20aDay Winners!My Profile

  20. I always feel relieved. I feel like my work is DONE, and it’s time for the party. Have a great run this weekend!
    Allison Johnson recently posted..Fall Update!My Profile

  21. It is a little bittersweet that last long run…I tend to reflect on how far I’ve come and obstacles I’ve overcome to get to that last run! Enjoy it!!…then it’s taper time!!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Why I Run…My Profile

  22. I have one last long run next week before CIM, so I’m not quite there yet. It’s a nice feeling that there’s only one “big one” before the marathon, and also that I’ve come so far in the last few months. Before September, I had never run longer than 13 miles and last weekend, I ran 22 miles of trail! That said, I’m looking forward to my first taper. Enjoy your run this weekend!
    Jen recently posted..HatersMy Profile

  23. I am always ready for the last long run…guess I’m just lazy! Have fun…and have a fantastic race, of course! Can’t wait to hear about CIM!
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted..2013My Profile

  24. I like when I’m finished the last long run….I look forward to the taper. I’m probably in the minority but I like the rest. Have a great last long run!
    Robin recently posted..5 Peaks Season ChampionshipsMy Profile

  25. I usually feel a little bit of both – happy to have made it this far in my training and knowing that the race is around the corner but a little sad too. Enjoy your run this weekend (not that I doubt that you will).
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Friday Round-Up: Tonsils and ChobaniMy Profile

  26. YES to both! I so look forward to the last run but I hate knowing that it’s over…The runs where everything is perfect are the runs where I want to run forever. I usually have multiple cry periods during those runs b/c life just seems so perfect =)
    Enjoy your last long run this weekend!
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama recently posted..Race for Recovery 5k/10kMy Profile

  27. you’re famous! a pacer, how cool!!!

    I’m not sure what the last long run before a marathon feels like, BUT I sure hope to one day find out :)
    marissa recently the rawMy Profile

  28. Ooohh, a 22 miler! Nice! Can I ask, do you prefer doing 22 over 20, or why do you chose to run 22 instead of the more common (I think?) 20 mile max long run distance? A lot of runners I look up to do 22 and I’ve always wondered why. I’m considering doing them for my Boston cycle and would love to hear any personal preference/insight!
    Efo recently posted..Rest DayMy Profile

  29. I love long runs but am usually ready to taper!
    Have fun pacing, and enjoy your last long run of this session!
    Abby @ Change of Pace recently posted..Change the pace – winter running wearMy Profile

  30. Hope it is a great last long run! I think you will be an awesome pacer! :) Enjoy it!
    Erin Henderson recently posted..Moving forward and feeling good!My Profile

  31. Enjoy yourself. I LOVE long runs and like them even more when I just take it easy and have some nice company. I’d really like to lead a clinic some day in the future.

    PS: are those the new instincts??
    Ali Mc recently posted..Dog or Child?My Profile

  32. have a great time savoring your long run while inspiring others! I have forgotten what a great long run feels like–good reminders!
    Jess @ Blonde Ponytail recently posted..East Coast: One WeekMy Profile

  33. Yes, they are one of my favorite parts too but more so if they can be done with a friend. They remind me of a simpler running time when my biggest challenge was wondering whether I could go the distance. Good stuff!
    Tia @ Arkansas Runner Mom recently posted..Delaware and Lehigh Heritage Marathon- Race Report!My Profile

  34. Definitely both.
    Have fun this weekend it sounds like a great way to do a long run.
    Missy recently posted..Thinking positiveMy Profile

  35. So many mixed emotions with training for a marathon. After the last long run is kind of like the post holiday blues and even more so after the race.
    Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness recently posted..Fitness Friday || Halloween Half RecapMy Profile

  36. Hope your pacing duties went off without any problems and you have a fantastic long run.
    Jill recently posted..ChicagoMy Profile

  37. I embrace the final long run. To me it means the hard work has paid off and it’s time to have some fun.
    Jamoosh recently posted..I’ll Be Your Cover ModelMy Profile

  38. Long runs (for marathon training) have been a mixed bag for me. Good or bad, they rarely tell me how my race will go. I also much prefer distances between 10 and 12 miles to the Big Daddy 15 to 20 milers. So I guess I’m always glad when they’re done. Long runs feel like homework. The race feels like graduation!
    Terzah recently posted..Guest Post: Kyria’s Tips for CIM!My Profile

  39. I definitely miss the long runs too! A lot of what I miss is the great company. But the running is up there too.
    Yo Momma Runs recently posted..XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park 21K resultsMy Profile

  40. i look forward to it! it just means that it’s almost time for all the hard work to pay off at the big day :)
    elizabeth recently posted..My Little Marathon SecretMy Profile

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