September 3, 2005
almost like a real PR
I've survived the early-guy week, and the near-injuries week (hamstring, everlasting sidestitch or pulled muscle or cracked rib or what have you), and lastly the marathon-pace-run week. This morning the schedule called for the big one, or 18 miles with 15 at MP. Out of all the Pfitzinger workouts, I think I dreaded this one the most.
It turned out ok, just as everything seems to. I set the GPS to annoy me if I went faster than 7:10, and after a 3-mile warmup, I took off for the MP part. Unlike the last MP run when my husband tooled behind me on his bike, this run was solo. The first mile felt brisk but turned out to be 6:33, and I realized I was going to have to work hard at finding a slower pace and staying there without falling off too much.
I worked on that for the next 6 or 7 miles and then decided to run the little hills in my neighborhood. Boy, did they kick my ass. I lost time on the downhills, tried (not altogether successfully) to make it up on the uphills, and really had a hard time concentrating. After 1 hilly loop I'd had enough and got back to the flat, but even after a half-mile I was struggling to maintain 7:30s, so at the 9.5-mile point I stopped home for a drink of water and a couple minutes' (3 - 5, probably) regroup. I wasn't in any real distress, so I'm not too happy I did this. I was on track for a half-marathon PR, and I dearly wanted to do the whole 13.1 without stopping. Alas.
When I started out again I took the first mile too fast (again), but settled back into an OK pace. When I got to 13.1 miles I hit the lap button just to record the time, then finished the rest of the 15, trying to pick it up for the last mile. I ended up with 7:07 pace for those 15 miles. This is a bit faster than what I'm hoping for in Baltimore, and I can't imagine holding that pace for 11 more miles. According to the GPS I hit 13.1 in 1:33:11, which is a half-marathon PR by over 5 minutes, though in real half-marathons you're not supposed to stop for 3 or 5 minutes. Still, for the past 2 years I've suspected I could do better than 1:38:30, and I guess now I know I can.
Posted by joe positive at September 3, 2005 1:43 PM
Congratulations on a great effort - and it was still a PR, even with the stops! Marathon pace always seems SO much harder on a training run, and then you get in the race and feel like you're jogging. So it sounds like you're right on track. Great job!
Posted by: Alison at September 3, 2005 6:37 PM
Thanks. I race so infrequently (the Parkersburg disaster doesn't count) that I've almost forgotten the difference between training runs and races. I really hope you're right. This wasn't brutal, but it certainly didn't feel like jogging either. I hope that by raceday, 7:15s will feel sustainable for 26.2 miles.
Posted by: joe positive at September 4, 2005 5:09 PM