Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Long Run...

Yesterday was an 'easy run' day according to the chart. I was to do 7 miles at a 9:02 pace, but again, I found that 9:02 was just too slow, so I did a pace ranging from 8:15 to 8:31 -- but then I stepped it up again on the last mile to my marathon goal pace, and completed that mile in a 7:52 pace. All-in-all, the run went fine. We were at a corporate retreat for our company, so we'd been up indulging in a bit too much wine the night before at the bed-and-breakfast we stayed in St. Joseph, Ontario. A couple of ibuprophen in the middle of the night seemed to do the trick, though, and I was out on the street at 7:00 am to start my run. I was fortunate in that the weather was a touch on the cool side -- about 16 degrees c. (60 degrees f.) -- pretty good for a summer run.

Today was a bit warmer and the sun was shining, so my long run was more challenging. Today I was to do 14 miles and because of the corporate retreat obligations, I wasn't able to start it until the late afternoon. My route was from our house past the town of Ailsa Craig, Ontario and then back again. Everything started fine -- too fine, in fact. I was targeting between 8:20 and 8:30 pace, but my first mile was 7:59 and the second was 8:13. Finally by the third mile I was able to settle into a 8:23 pace and I was consistently between 8:18 and 8:30 throughout the rest of the run -- until, that is, the last full mile at which point I stepped it up again to my marathon goal pace and completed the 14th mile in 7:52. But, I was dragging near the end. For the first time, I'm having doubts that I can go 26 miles at my goal pace. My right knee was starting to hurt a bit in the middle of the run, and the arch in my left foot was hurting at the end of the run. Now I understand why we do the run up in long run miles slowwwwwwly.

One item of note was that Jenny and my daughters Tori and Karen drove out and met me at mile 11, which was a very welcome sight. I was starting to overheat a bit and they were able to swap out my warm and depleted Gatorade for a full, cold one. I poured some on my back periodically to help cool me down and I'm sure it helped. They were heading into Lucan to do a 10k run in preparation for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon in January.

This run I had two jellybeans every 2 miles up until mile 10, at which point I didn't figure they'd do me much good over the last four miles, so I stopped eating them.

Anyhow, now that I'm home, clean and I've had my ice bath, I'm fairly happy with the run. Its the longest I've run in a long time. I kept to my target pace range (although not that of the Runner's World chart) and I finished with the last mile at my marathon goal pace. My miles over the past week were just shy of 35 total. And while I've now entertained thoughts that I may not be able to reach my goal pace for a full marathon, I've re-evaluated those thoughts and realize that my training is only 2/13ths complete. This is a long run in more ways than just today's.

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