After 17, 18, and 19-mile long runs the past three weeks, I was ready for a step-back week. 13 miles was the prescription. Technically, it was supposed to be last week, but I traded my 19-mile since I didn't have afternoon plans last week, so it wouldn't matter if it took me forever to run 19.
Well, my step-back run stepped up and slapped me right in the face. I completed the 13 miles, and my pace was fine, but my legs just felt exhausted the whole way. I don't mean to complain here, only to analyze, but I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out why last week's run was so good and this week's was so bad.
I ate the same not-so-good dinner (pizza) the night before both runs. I did more midweek running this week (6 on Tuesday and 2 on Thursday -- still not quite as much as I think I should be doing) than last week (4 on Tuesday), which I thought would be an advantage. I may be getting sick, or maybe it was just the long runs of the last 3 weeks and lack of sleep this week as a result of work catching up with me, or maybe it was that it seemed a little warmer out there than the forecast said it was, and I wore a shirt that I think is not as ventilated as my favorites.
I'm not terribly worried...except next Saturday is the big 2-0. Ruh-roh.