I was just a tad worried about the long run this past weekend, seeing as how I'd skipped the one on the weekend before and in general have been in a bit of a rut lately. I couldn't bring myself to get up early enough on Saturday to avoid the heat, so I planned to go in the evening, starting around 6:30-7 and finishing around nightfall. The heat was not a problem at all, especially since I spent the first hour on the wooded part of the trail.
I opted for the flat and familiar this time around. I think next week, for my cutback long run, I'll run some hills. And then of course the weekend after that is the relay, meaning hills in plenty (but unfortunately the 17 miles or so of running I'll be doing will be split up over 12 hours and therefore not much use as a long run). I was starting to feel it by 10 miles in, but it was perfectly manageable and I even managed to run the last few at a harder pace. In fact, I ended up running closer to 18 miles than the planned 17. Here's why: I hit the roundabout with 15.8 miles. I took a quick break to have some water, and then continued on. The paved trail is marked every quarter mile, so I figured I'd run out three quarters and then back and I'd have 17.3. However, that quarter is the only one not marked! I knew I'd passed it, but I didn't know exactly where, so I pressed on to the one mile marker and then turned around, giving me 17.8 total. Oops!
I took an "ice bath" (water could only be called cool, not cold, and the few ice cubes I dumped in melted within a couple of minutes), but it still did the trick. I was not the least bit sore yesterday. I stayed in longer than I usually do, since it actually felt good, so there might be something to the notion of a "cool bath" rather than an "ice bath." And it is certainly more pleasant!
I definitely feel somewhat back on track, so to speak. Hopefully I can stay motivated even in the deadening, draining heat (and honestly, here it's not that bad at all).