Sunday, May 24, 2009

Finish Fast Long Run

Today's workout was one I have been waiting for since the Fargo half marathon. This workout had me thinking all week that I better be well rested and "ready" for a hard effort. I remember reading an article about Kahlid Kannouchi (sp?) back a few years ago and he was mentioning how he gets more nervous for certain long run workouts than he does for the race itself. I would put myself in a similar place this past week. In the beginning of the week my legs just didn't feel very fluid and at times felt like I needed a day off. Then I remembered to increase my carb intake and that seemed to help a lot. My mind was playing games with me telling me that it was going to be extremely difficult to maintain pace the last few miles. Lesson learned, don't let your mind rule your game.

The day started off with yet another spectacular sunrise and minimal wind gusts. After getting some toast in the system and a little coffee I began to gather my supplies and make my way for the beginning of the marathon course. Today's workout would finish at the eighteen mile mark. My wife and son would meet me on the course and serve as a spectacular support crew.

The task was as follows: Run the first ten miles "easy", or one minute over predicted marathon pace. (I would have to say that in the end this would be my hardest task. Keeping the pace under control that long definitely trains one to be patient in the early miles of the marathon.) Once I got to the ten mile mark the "work" began. I was to run the final eight miles at predicted marathon pace and the last two increasing pace to get to 10K pace in the closing mile. I have to admit, that type of long run had me take a few extra trips to the bathroom in the morning.
After warming up through the early miles I found holding 6:50's very easy and the HR showed it. Once I saw my family out on the course at mile seven the pace quickly dropped to 6:40's and I had all I could do to hold off until mile ten. I got some fluid from Lucas at mile nine and told them to see me at twelve, as the work would begin in one mile. Mile ten to eleven was covered only on perceived effort and was a bit slow running at 6:12. I thought to myself, "wow, a bit off and not sure if I can pick it up twenty seconds per mile for seven more miles." Once I did pick up the pace it was amazing how well I felt. I locked into pace and managed to hit the splits pretty well. I had just a bit of headwind to battle but nothing too bad. The only time I struggled was from twelve to thirteen while I took in a gel and some fluid. Once that was in my stomach for a few minutes the green light was on for the finish! I managed to run  few splits a bit fast and that is not necessarily a good thing. I've always said, "just because you can, doesn't mean you should." After hitting the last mile I made my way to the lake's shore to attempt to soak the lower legs in the ice water. I made it three minutes at max! Cold doesn't describe the pain Lake Superior causes this time of year.

Here is a breakdown of the workout:
First Ten: 6:56, 6:56,6:47,6:51,6:49,6:47,6:41,6:36,6:51,6:24 (HR under 135)

Last Eight: 6:12,5:52,5:55,5:50,5:44,5:47,5:41,5:36 (HR 149-155)

Total: 1:54:42  18 miles

Weeks Total: 75.6 miles
Years Total: 1097.8 miles

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