Sunday, February 28, 2010

Saturday 2/27/10 - 22 miles

Friday night I was pretty exhausted and I think I fell asleep on the couch watching the Olympics between 8:30 and 9:00. Sometime around 10:00 or 10:30 my wife dragged me up to the bedroom to head to bed. I set the alarm for 4:35 wishing I had an excuse to not get up that early, but I knew that I really needed to head up to Conroe for a long run. I had to stop by my office on the way to the run to get my shoes with orthotics and my hamstring sleeve because I knew I would probably be in trouble without them. I got my bag with them and made it to the start right about 6:00 before everyone took off. I think I was probably the fastest person up there on Saturday, but there were a couple of guys running at a pretty good clip to start so I was glad that I didn't end up running the entire workout by myself. I ran with a couple of guys named Richard and Andreas. We weren't going to fast the first few miles, but everyone was tired and it was dark out to start and there were a few monster hills to start the workout. We park at a church on League Line Rd and then run out to the Marina and then head back. Then we ran off on a side road to where it dead ends and then back to League Line road. As we were going down the road I told the guys that last year when we were running on this road somebody had warned us about some loose dogs down near the end. As we crested a hill and could see the end of the road less a couple hundred yards away I start hearing this barking and see 3 large dogs come running towards us at full speed. The two guys I was running with turn around and start to take off and I told them not to run away because it would probably encourage the dogs to keep coming after us. We started yelling at the dogs and when they got to within about 30 to 40 yards I guess we scared them off and they finally turned around and headed back home. Next time I'm running in Conroe I think that I will avoid that road. Then we headed down another road and down a pretty steep hill that I knew would be a ton of fun to come back up. After about 10 miles we picked up the pace some and were averaging closer to 7:00 pace until mile 16. When we got to mile 16 I told the guys I was running with I was going to pick up the pace and try to get down into the 6:20/mile range for the last 6 miles. I didn't quite make 6:20 pace, but I did average 6:30 pace which I was pleased with considering some of the hills in the last 6 miles. If we had been running in Houston where it was flat as a pancake, I'm sure that I would have been down around 6:15 pace for the last 6 miles. I averaged 7:12 pace over the entire run and finished the 22.1 miles in 2:39. It was tough on the legs, but a good workout that I really needed. My splits were as follows:

1 - 8:03 - rolling hills, dark, and still half asleep
2 - 7:40
3 - 7:59 - coming up steep hill from Marina
4 - 7:19 - downhill mile
5 - 8:15 - stopped for a bit when dogs were running at us and didn't stop watch
6 - 7:39 - still coming uphill
7 - 7:18 - going downhill
8 - 7:21 - one of the flatter miles
9 - 7:26
10 - 7:45 - coming up steep hill
11 - 7:16 - rolling hills
12 - 7:07 - more down than up
13 - 7:08
14 - 7:02
15 - 7:11
16 - 7:05
17 - 6:25
18 - 6:32 - some tough hills in this mile
19 - 6:32 - another tough mile
20 - 6:26 - a little easier with some downhill, but uphill at the end
21 - 6:34 - toughest mile of the day - two steep uphills and downhills within 3/4 of a mile
22 - 6:30 - Another tough uphill in first 1/2 of this mile. I wanted to take it easy and I thought about saying that 5 hard miles was enough, but I needed to push through it to finish strong
22.1 - 6:10 pace - just cruising the last 0.1 miles into the finish.

I survived the run without any major issues. My hamstring felt good for a 22 mile run. My sleeve started to slide down my leg and I had to take it off and put it back on around mile 14, but my hamstring felt strong and didn't bother me at all during the last 6 miles. I haven't been using my Ben-Gay either to treat my sore hamstrings. I think the extra stretching and lifting I've been doing is making a difference.

I got a massage Saturday afternoon and it was kind of painful, but my legs felt really good afterwards. The massage therapist told me she can tell my hamstring is doing better than it was before the Houston marathon.

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