Sunday, October 3, 2010

Perfect training week (57.20 miles)

Everything just clicked today. I had a challenging 20-mile training run with a projected 8:40 pace scheduled for Sunday. I have had three scheduled 20-milers thus far in my build-up to MCM and it was my fifth 20-mile training run of my young running career. This one was by far my best. My average pace was under my target (8:38/mile) and I negative split.

Splits - 9:23, 9:02, 8:49, 9:20, 8:46, 8:32, 8:36, 8:36, 8:32, 8:53, 8:34, 9:16, 8:12, 8:35, 8:58, 8:01, 8:07, 7:39, 8:07, 8:30

What did I do right? I woke up early enough to have cup of coffee and some peanut butter toast and then sit around a while to let that "soak in." Next I drove to a spot in the middle of the WB&A trail where I placed my spare energy gels and water bottles. I did not carry them. I planned to run a 10k then have a gel then have a gel every 5k from them on. I also started off slow and gradually picked up the pace. I planned to run the final 5 miles at marathon pace (~7:50/mile).

Things went really except for the running jump roper who nonchalantly skipped down the trail with her dog off the leash I encountered at mile 17. Though the dog did not appear aggressive it did pay too much attention to me so I had to really slow down so I could be sure I would not be attacked. I then ran into two dogs and their owners on leash but on a narrow bridge at mile 19. Again I was attempting to run a fast closing pace and had to slow down so I wouldn't get bit.

In looking back on the run I find that I can will myself to run fairly fast over a long distance. I also did get to know what marathon effort will feel like after running 20 miles this year. During the Baltimore Marathon last year I went through 20 miles in 2:52:19, but that was in a race, after a taper, and with full training. I am still four weeks away and this run came at the end of my heaviest running week ever:
  • Tuesday - 9.11 miles in 1:18:04 (8:34/mile)
  • Wednesday - 9:08 miles in 1:18:28 (8:38/mile)
  • Thursday - 10 miles in 1:22 (8 miles tempo at 7:41/mile)
  • Friday - 9 miles in 1:17:36 (8:37/mile)
  • Sunday - 20 miles in 2:52:44 (8:38/mile)
Total - 57.20 miles

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