I ran for three hours today. I needed to get a 3 hour run in to give me confidence that I could run for five hours next Saturday at the Towpath "Train"ing Run. It was split up in two sessions, however. This was a necessity because of my son's soccer schedule. So I set my countdown timer at three hours and began to hack away at the time remaining. Starting about 11 AM at his game - before the game started and whenever he was subbed out - I got in an hour of running time, barefoot, on grass. So that part of the two sessions was broken up a little also, but it was fairly fast. I probably averaged under 8 minute miles. This run went for about 20 minutes, then some game watching & rain delay, then another 20 minutes, then some game watching, then a final 20. More or less.
The second session started at about 4:00 PM. I went up to Watchung Reservation. I did the Wilderness Trail loop plus an extra muddy loop, mostly of unmarked trails. I ran this slower and carried a water bottle. It warmed up after the thunderstorms today, so it was fairly humid. I have to say this run felt easy and probably averaged about 8:45 pace. It was beautiful: saw a hawk, hundreds of chipmunks, some deep red cardinals and blue bluebirds, and chased a fox who ran in front of me near Watchung Stables.
I am feeling like I can run 5 hours, especially with all the support the "Train"ing Run offers. However, 34 miles is a lot farther than a marathon, so I will have no qualms about dropping out if I feel like I am injuring myself. I have fought too long against these Achilles tendon and PF problems to put myself into the position of needing another long recovery.