Monday, February 16, 2009

20 mile run with hill workout

Today I ran a 20 mile run and did a little over 4 miles worth of hill work on the TC Jester overpass over the rail yard a little north of I-10.  I really needed to get my long run in because of my lack of running the past couple of days and I also wanted to get some hill work in since Monday's are usually my hill workout days and I need as much hill work as I can get in preparation for Boston.  My total time for the 20 miles and 42 feet (according to the Garmin) was 2:23 (7:09 average).  I'm glad I got the run in, but a lot of it was pure agony.

I forgot my iPod and I didn't feel like turning around to go get it once I realized that I had forgotten it.  When I do long runs by myself, I like to have my iPod because I tend to get bored running by myself for over 2 hours.  I had to plan my route to stay close to drinking fountains since I didn't take my camelbak with me.  I ran from my house to the Kenyan Way base, up to the end of Heights Blvd, back down to 12th st and over to TC Jester to start the hills.  I got to the overpass at exactly 8 miles into my run.  I did 10 repeats over the bridge running hard up to the top and all the way down to the other side.  Then I jogged about 30 seconds out, turned around and jogged back to the bridge and ran back the other way.  My total mileage doing the 10 repeats and jogging easy for about 1 minute in between was 4.3 miles.  My legs were a little sore from skiing but I didn't want to use that as an excuse not to get the miles in or do the hillwork.  By the end of the hills, my legs felt like they were on fire.  I rested for about a minute and stretched out my hamstrings and quads and retraced my route to Heights Blvd.  During this time, my hamstrings were pretty sore.

When you are running by yourself, you have plenty of time to think about things - especially how much your legs are hurting.  I started contemplating heading back home and finishing with about 17 miles instead of 20 and I was trying to justify it in my head-  I don't want to get injured.  I did hills in the middle of the long run which makes it tougher than a regular long run, I'm worn out from skiing and I can do the long run next weekend, etc.  Then I started thinking about how am I going to make it through Heartbreak Hill when my legs are on fire if my first inclination is to come up with an excuse to throw in the towel.  My legs weren't injury sore - it's more of the pain and agony of pushing them harder and farther than they are used to.  I had plenty of long runs leading up to the 2008 marathon where my legs felt the same way.  Surprisingly I really didn't ever get sore hamstrings on my long runs leading up to the 2009 marathon.  I was a little surprised how sore they were and how early in the run they were screaming at me.  After going back and forth, I decided that I wasn't going to injure myself and I needed to get used to logging miles on tired legs if I'm going to run well in Boston.

When I got back to a water fountain I had a pack of Clif Shot Blocks.  After having some stomach issues on a couple of long training runs and in the marathon, I decided to try something different than the Power Gels that I had been using.  I had wanted to take half the pack about an hour into the run and then the other half at about 1:45, but I was in the middle of my hills and nowhere near water to take them with so I ended up taking the whole pack a little before mile 14.  I learned that in a race, I think I will need to put them into a plastic baggie instead of the wrapper they come in.  I was stopped and I had trouble opening it and had to keep biting off bits of the plastic wrapper before I could get them out.  They didn't bother my stomach at all, but I wasn't running at a really hard pace after I took them.  I think at least one of the 24 miles runs on my schedule has me picking up the pace to marathon pace for the last 6 miles so that will be a good time to try out the Shot Blocks and see how my stomach takes it.

I ran back up to the end of Heights Blvd and back down to Memorial and Waugh for my last water stop.  My legs were still in agony, but I knew at this point I was less than 2.5 miles from home.  The last couple of miles actually felt a little better because I knew the end of the run was in sight and I was able to pick up the pace a little.  I was pretty happy with the time I ran and that I was able to finish the whole run and not drop off the pace at all.

Here are my splits for each mile and the average heartrate.  Usually if my heartrate drops from one mile to the next, it is probably because I had a water stop and had 20 or 30 seconds to recover in the middle of that mile.

1 - 7:35, 160 (I'm not sure what is up with the lap 1 heartrate.  It doesn't seem right)
2 - 7:16, 149
3 - 7:28, 145
4 - 7:20, 152
5 - 7:24, 152
6 - 7:23, 151
7 - 7:22, 150
8 - 7:13, 146
9 - 6:41, 166 (started hills at beginning of 9)
10 - 6:36, 171
11 - 6:32, 175
12 - 6:41, 177
13 - 6:56, 170 (finished hills partway through mile 13)
14 - 7:22, 168
15 - 7:23, 166
16 - 7:11, 171
17 - 7:13, 174
18 - 7:14, 174
19 - 7:03, 177
20 - 7:04, 181 (mostly gradual uphill, this mile was tough)

Based on my heartrate, I don't think I could have done much more today.  The hard hills in the middle definitely made the rest of the workout tougher.  I'll be taking it very easy for my run tomorrow.

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