Today was my third day in a row of 10+ miles -- and the third day in a row of humid weather. Not a great combination for me. The temperature when I started was 21 degrees C (70 F.) but you could practically cut the air with a knife. My schedule said I was to do 8:40/mile and while I've pushed that number before, this time I intended to only do a tiny bit faster -- 8:30/mile.
This was one of those runs where I felt like there was no way I could ever do a marathon -- and this was only 10 miles! From the very start, my strategy was to conserve as much energy for the end -- and its a good thing. By mile 8, the sweat was dripping off my hat at a rate of about 1 drop for every 6 strides. I felt like walking about 20 times during the run, starting as early as 3 miles into it. But I kept running.
In the end, my average pace was 8:17/mile with a range of between 8:10 and 8:29 -- pretty good, in retrospect. But, man, I was totally spent at the end of it all. I soaked in our outdoor shower for about 20 minutes with as cold water as I could get. And then I had an ice bath to ensure I wouldn't be stiff for this weekend's 20 miler. I just hope that the weather cooperates because if it is like it was today, I'm toast!
One thing that I did differently this run was I carried water with me instead of sport drink. To replenish the electolytes, etc., I tried Eload Zone Caps that I'd picked up from Runners Choice on the advice of Jackie Windsor who had taken part in the last Port Stanley run, had read this blog and emailed me with the tip. Thanks, Jackie! I had 1 capsule before the run, and 3 during the run. The advantage to them, in theory, is that you won't get sick of the taste because there is none. As runs go, this was fairly short -- but I didn't have the issues with hamstring, calf and shin pain/tenderness as I'd had on prior runs. I think it will take some tweaking with this strategy to get it right in a long run. This weekend's run will likely tell me more.
I'm now over 60% done this week's mileage. And the 20 miler on Sunday will cap it off. We're doing a half marathon in Wasaga Beach, so my plan is to do 2 miles of warm-up, the 13.1 mile half, and then 5 miles of cool-down. I'm going to target marathon pace (8:00/mile) for the race portion, so I'm counting on the warm-up and cool-down being considerably slower. My schedule calls for 8:40/mile, so I'm sure that I'll be faster than that on average.
Hopefully the weather gets cooler -- quickly!