1. If you're going to run 12 miles you have to get up early enough to eat something more than just a banana. Otherwise you end up with your stomach actually growling hungry right about mile 9 when your calorie burn has reached about 900.
2. Body conditions and weather conditions mean everything. If the weather is cooperative - i.e., cool temperatures, no wind, and if you're relatively injury free and have nutritionally prepared properly leading up to it, you'll probably have a decent run. In other words, hydrated and 42 degrees and calm is a heck of a lot easier to run in than dehydrated and 42 degrees and windy.
3. Pay attention to dogs and other animals along the way. Even if they're with a person:
- My thought: "Oops, a dog with no leash, gotta stop."
- Said to me, “He’s really friendly, he won’t hurt you.”
- Said by me, “No offense but I've learned not to run by dogs without leashes.”
5. You can't think about the entire distance, otherwise you'd probably never do it. Breaking the run down into segments will help you get through it. Even then, you'll probably have a mile or two where you really struggle, both mentally and physically (why hello there mile 7-8!). That's when you just have to gut it out.
6. You'll enjoy a 12 mile run the most if you don't keep looking at your Garmin to check your pace. It's not a race, its a run. And forget about comparing your current pace with your faster pace blah blah years ago. It doesn't matter because every run is it's own creature. Enjoy it and just run.
7. If you carry your phone/camera with you on the run and it's autumn in New England, you will probably be able to capture some really spectacular photos!