Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Long Run: Training Week 11

So today is Tuesday, my scheduled long run day. According to my training plan I was to run 13 miles today. I am never good at following any sort of plan, even a plan I make. How gay is it that I rebel against myself?

I completely miscalculated the distance and ended up running just shy of 16 miles--and yep, I am rounding up and calling it 16 miles. I am 3 miles ahead of schedule for the long run and a total of 5 miles ahead so far for the week, which is fine. But I'd be lying if I said it was an awesome run and that I felt great. It was horrible and I felt like I was running through Dante's rings of hell instead of the peaceful Atlanta suburbs. I knew it was going to be rough today regardless of heat and the distance but I totally underestimated just how rough.

I probably would have had a great run if it hadn't been so damn hot. I didn't start running until almost 10 am and by then it was 80 degrees. When I finished it was around 88 degrees but felt like 100 in the sun. I only carried 20 oz of water with me and had to stop and fill up. I welcomed the air conditioned reprieve and it was very tough going back out there. It involved a little pep talk in the doorway of the CVS.

The cool air break helped. I picked up the pace for a bit and if anything hurt I was totally unaware of it because my head was just swimming from the heat and that was all I could think about. At about 13 miles I started to get the chills and felt a little ill but with only 2 more miles to go I knew I could make it, and I did.

My pace suffered from the heat as I know I could have run much harder if it had been just a bit cooler and a little less humid but even still, I stayed within my "assigned" range of 9-9:30 minute miles. I averaged a 9:08 pace with a best pace of 6:47. Not sure when that happened but probably early on and on the downhill. At the 13 mile point I was averaging a 9:03 pace which is really only about 35 seconds off my PR half-marathon time. So I think that tells me I will be faster this year--assuming all goes well with my training.

I think this all bodes very well indeed--especially considering that I managed in the heat to stay close to a 9 minute pace on my first official long run of my truncated training program. Surely in November I won't be dealing with 80 degree heat and my training, hopefully, will not only carry me over those 26.2 miles but I will do it at a 8:30 pace (or faster.)

I met another OBX marathoner yesterday. She said she is a marathon coach but she herself isn't "fast"--as she commented that she would be lucky to break 5 hours. I asked her what she thought about the wind factor and she said we should have a tail wind at our backs-- you know, unless there is a hurricane.

I think next week I'll shoot for doing the same run again and try to do it faster before stepping up mileage again.


  1. 16 miles is 16 miles. It would be nicer if they were 16 comfortable, fast and easy miles, but stil ...

    You kick ass.

  2. Howdy! You said, "How gay is it that I rebel against myself?" Hmmm, you could star in a movie, titled something like "Rebel Without a Pause." You're doing great, although I was worried about your long run due to your previous post. The long run is THE most important run of the week, you'll get more bang for the buck than anyother training run. Happy trails, Bruce