First of all, I try very hard not to think of the whole distance. One of the things that helps me to do that is to visualize where I'll be running. That way as I'm running and I notice a landmark, I think 3 miles down, just repeat. On Friday I got on Map My Run and worked out the route I wanted to use. I knew if I did sort of giant loop around the small city I live in, I could make the mileage and the run would be quite varied with lots of different elevations. The next thing I do is to make sure I've got all my "stuff" ready: meaning that my Garmin 305 is full charged, my running clothes are laid out, and my Fuel Belt (I have the Hybiscus Pink one) is ready to go. For a 9 mile run I need to have at least 1 bottle on my Fuel Belt containing a sports drink with some calories and carbs. Or, I need to have Shot Bloks to eat while drinking water. I'm not a fast runner so after I've been running about an hour I need to take that in to make sure I have the energy to keep going. A lot of these drinks make my tummy revolt but after having several upset stomachs over the years the one I've found that works well is Accelerade. To get ready for my run, I fill one of my bottles with Accelerade and two of them with water and freeze them. The fourth bottle I fill with water or a Nuun mixture just before I leave. The reason I freeze the bottles is that by the time I want to drink out of them, they have defrosted but are ICY cold. Believe me, after you've been running for over an hour it tastes sooooo good! I even trick myself into believing that the Orange Accelerade tastes like a Creamsicle.
Since I had a busy day Saturday I needed to get out pretty early for my run - which means getting up early enough to get a chance to pour some coffee down my throat before I take off. And, next week when my long run goes up to 10 miles, I'll actually need to eat something like oatmeal or a banana before I even leave the house!
The pace calculator tells me that I should be running my long runs at a 12:37-13:07 pace per mile. BUT, the most important thing about a long run is that it should feel easy. In other words, at any given time you should be able to talk to someone. So, I was hoping to get the 9 miles done on the faster side of that pace which would have been a time of 1:53:33 but honestly, I would have been happy with any time under 2 hours, especially since I've been battling the ear infections and strep this week
Woke up, swallowed and my ear didn't hurt! - HURRAY! Got my coffee down, got dressed, made sure to rub any place I thought I might chafe or blister with Body Glide (especially important when it's humid!) and was out the door doing my run at 6:17 according to my Garmin. It was gorgeous and quiet, not much traffic yet and slightly overcast, which was just fine with me since I knew as soon as the sun came out it would heat up quick. I just started slowly and bopped along and when I got down to the area of town where People Who Have A Lot More Money Than Me live, I thought I'd use the iPhone (thus the photo quality) to show you just how lovely it was!