Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday 12/12 - 23.5 mile long run

After being sick most of the week and not doing much running, I knew that I needed to get a long run in. I wasn't sure how far I'd be able to go, but I wanted to give it a shot and try to run for 2:40 - 2:45 and get 22+ miles in. I started the run with Sam and told him I wasn't sure if I'd be able to hang with him because I was going to go a little slower if needed just to get the full time in. The route was a new route and we knew the streets we needed to turn on, but we weren't absolutely certain of exactly where all the streets were so Sam decided not to push it too hard and we ran together. We ran an ~11 mile loop through the heights and over to near Memorial Park and then back to the base. Then we ran a 7.5 mile loop through River Oaks. I was actually feeling pretty decent and we got down into the mid 6:40's for a while. We got back to the base again and I was at about 18.5 miles. My hamstrings and calves were a little sore so I put some Ben-Gay on and then headed out for a 5 mile loop around the bayou. Sam had run a little before the start so he was just going to do a partial lap of the bayou. He started picking it up on his last mile and I think we were running 6:15-6:20 pace for a while and then he turned off to head back. I still had another ~3.5 miles to go and I kept going, but it was really tough the last few miles. The trail was really muddy - I guess it had rained more last night than I realized - and the short relatively steep hills were wreaking havoc on my quads. I remembered what Sean had said about pushing through the pain and so I tried to stay at about 7:00 pace. I probably could have cranked out a faster time, but I didn't want to injure myself doing something stupid.

I fell a little below 7:00 pace the last mile and a half, but I didn't totally blow up and it was my longest run of the year by over 1.5 miles. I have plenty of speed, but I just need to get in a couple more long runs to get used to the hours of pounding my legs will take during the marathon. I felt pretty good and I didn't have any respiratory issues I thought I might have with my cold. I don't feel like I'm still sick right now, but I'm hoping that I don't relapse and feel bad the rest of the week. My legs were pretty shot after the run, but they should recover over the next couple of days.

My splits were - 7:29, 7:19, 7:15, 7:10, 7:06, 6:56, 7:01, 7:04, 7:02, 6:53, 7:05, 6:53, 6:47, 6:45, 6:47, 6:55, 6:47, 6:39, 7:04, 6:33, 7:00, 7:01, 7:17, 3:45 for last 1/2 mile. My average pace for the 23.5 miles was 7:00. It was a rather chilly day out. I wore a light long sleeve shirt and it was cloudy and humid and the temperature was in the upper 40's and breeezy at time. I was comfortable while I was running, but as soon as I stopped it was freezing out. Just stopping at the base to get water and eat my energy blocks for a short while was long enough to start getting chilled. When I finished, I was getting cold within a couple minutes so I had to head back to the car pretty quick. I was glad I was able to get the full run in and that I had somebody to run with for most of the run, because it would have been tough to get more than 20 in by myself.

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