Saturday, March 14, 2009

24 miles in Conroe

24 miles in 2:44:31. Last 6 miles attempting to run close to marathon pace.

Today was a tough run. I'm glad I got it done, but it wasn't what I would consider a fun run. I was kind of hoping it would be raining when I got up so I'd have a legitimate excuse not to go. I have to get up at 4:30 am to get up to Conroe for a 6:00 start. My body still seems to be a little tired from the Texas Independence Relay last weekend. Unfortunately for my excuses, the weather was fine so I headed up there. Fortunately Sam came up so I didn't have to do the run by myself. Sam said he was going to take it relatively easy the first 19 miles or so and pick it up at the end. The temperature was in the low 40's this morning so I wore shorts, a long sleeve base layer and a fluorescent green shirt so hopefully cars would see me and not run me over. I started out with gloves, but ditched them after a couple miles at one of the places I had put a bottle full of gatorade. We ran a little bit different route than the last time we were up in Conroe and I think it added some more hills to it. Near the one of the roads we were running down, one of the guys up there was coming the other way and said he hadn't gone all the way to the end because there was a dog out there. We could hear him barking in the distance and we turned around when it started getting louder. I didn't really care to have a run in with a dog. My hamstring definitely felt tighter today in the cold weather and probably because I didn't stretch it enough at the end of yesterday's run in the cold. I stopped for about 45 seconds midway through the run to stretch it out some and that helped. I put some icy hot on my legs with about 7 miles to go since both of them felt like they were getting tired and a little sore. We started picking it up with about 6 miles to go and Sam took off at a faster pace than I could hang with. The last 5 miles of the run were also the hardest 5 miles with the most hills in them of the entire run. I was contemplating doing a couple miles on a different road without as many hills but I decided that would be wimping out and I was going to run hard on the tough hills to finish. My goal was to run the last 6 miles at 6:15 - 6:17 pace, but with the hills I figured it would be a little slower. I ended up averaging just under 6:20/mile for the last 6 which I was happy with considering I felt like my legs were tired the whole run and we were running on some serious hills. I can't imagine heartbreak hill being tougher than one of the hills we went up which was at least a 1/2 mile long. The cool weather definitely makes a ton of difference and helps keep my heart rate down. Here are my splits and HR's:

1 - 7:34, 143
2 - 7:00, 152
3 - 7:25, 155
4 - 6:50, 151
5 - 7:22, 154
6 - 7:05, 150
7 - 6:47, 150
8 - 6:55, 151
9 - 7:07, 156
10 - 7:14, 159
11 - 6:51, 152
12 - 6:54, 151
13 - 6:58, 154
14 - 7:00, 157
15 - 6:58, 159
16 - 7:06, 160
17 - 6:55, 157
18 - 6:36, 167
19 - 6:17, 171
20 - 6:30, 172
21 - 6:21, 174
22 - 6:29, 176
23 - 6:17, 176
24 - 6:04, 177

You can basically figure out the miles with hills, at least in the first half of the run by my splits and heart rates. I definitely never really felt aerobically limited. My HR tends to get up into the 185 - 187 range when I'm hitting my aerobic limits. Today it was all my tired legs that were limiting me. I'm happy with the run. I finished in under 2:45 and was able to finish strong. I think I could have added on a couple more miles at 6:30 pace so basically I could have run a marathon on the hills in Conroe today about 5 minutes faster than my Houston marathon time. Only one more really long run before Boston in 5 weeks.

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