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.