Since I have a burial to do tomorrow, I switched my long run to today. That had the added benefit of running in the heat of the day, since I couldn't leave until 10:30. I am not a hot weather runner, nor an afternoon runner, but those are the realities of my next Ultra, so today was a small test for that.
Ended up running 3:45:35 for an average pace of 9:01/mile. I know I went out too fast - I was averaging 8:44 at the halfway mark, and was still sitting at 8:46 at the 18 mile mark. I really started feeling it there, however, and it was a real struggle to finish. Step ... by ... step. Lead in my legs.
They had called for rain with possible thunder showers, but at most it sprinkled - so little it basically evaporated as soon as it landed. It was overcast most of the time, until the last hour or so anyway. The temperature sat at around 21C/71F with humidity in the low 70s, so not nearly as hot as what I'll face in a few weeks, but a small taste of it.
The take away for me is to slow down from the start. I'm thinking I should aim for around 9:00 - 9:15/mile. With the aid station stops, I'll be thrilled to finish the Ultra with an average of 10:00/mile, after all. Just over 10 hours. I have one more 20 miler next weekend, so I'll try that out then. Realistically, if we get temps into the 80s, which is a high probability, even a 9:15/mile pace will be unsustainable for me. In that case, my goal will be to simply finish.