Sunday, August 12, 2012

Marathon Training - Week 15

Monday, August 6th - 2 mile easy run

The dogs have been driving us crazy lately, so I took them out with me for my 2 mile easy run around the neighborhood last Monday.

Even though they had so much energy before we went out, they really struggled with the run. I think the heat had something to do with it, but it's been a long time since I've taken them out for a run, too. Sorry boys.

Toward the end, I was just about pulling them reverse-sled-dog-style.

But overall, they didn't do too bad.




Thursday, August 9th - 6 mile tempo run

The weather hasn't been too bad lately, so I did my tempo run around the neighborhood instead of on the treadmill.

And I set up the workout on my Garmin to make sure I kept my pace, so hopefully this run wouldn't turn into a "just get it done" run again.

I'm not sure if it was the weather or my attitude or what, but this run went really well.

I set up my first and last mile in the workout with no target pace as my warm-up and cool-down. The middle four miles had a target pace of 8:00 to 8:20 per mile (my training plan said my average tempo pace should have been 8:13/mile).

Initially when I started the tempo miles, I went out a little too hard (the watch kept telling me to slow down). I backed off a little, but I still kept the pace at the faster end of the range. The hills slowed me down some, but overall I held the pace really well.

I was so excited to see the chart for the run -- for once I was really hoping to clearly see the changes in my pace. But this is what it looked like:


After zooming in, though, things become much clearer:


I emailed Garmin to see if there's a way to reset the pace markers when the graph is zoomed in, but there isn't. And since the GPS signal dropped a couple times (note the 00:00/minute and 50:00/minute paces that are clearly erroneous), the automatically-generated markers are pretty much useless.

Here are the splits:


Yep, I held an 8:08/mile pace through all four tempo miles! And I never had to stop and walk!

The only thing I wish I had done differently is extend my cool-down distance to more than a mile, since the watch just shut off right at the 6 mile mark (and I was still about 1/4 mile from home).

Saturday, August 11th - 20 mile long run!

I made a big decision on Friday.

Looking at the weather report for Saturday, I decided to do my long run OUTSIDE this week!

I mean, how could I pass this up??


I decided to sleep in a little and help Jen get ready for work before setting out, so I didn't get going until a little after 10, but it was gorgeous outside!

And since I was low on GU, I had to run to the store first.

I'm not sure if she was entirely serious, but Jen made the comment that I should just run up to Dick's for it, instead of driving there.

Well I was out of gas...

And after looking at the map, Dick's was only 3 miles away...

And driving there would take at least half-an-hour with traffic...

So yeah, I decided just to run there for my fuel!

She was a little concerned with me running along such a busy road to get there, but I was able to run in the grass for most of it.


When I got back to the house, I was around 5.5 miles in, so I just had around 14.5 miles to go.

And I really felt great -- it was fun running somewhere new, and being able to take my time with it.

I set back out around the neighborhood, hoping to get another 7 or 8 before returning home for more water and fuel.

I came back for the second time at 12.7 miles. I was still feeling pretty good, and I wasn't walking very much (which was a big goal of mine for this run), but I was so ready to be done.

After cooling down and chugging down lots of water, I reluctantly set back out for the remaining 7.

It was hard.

Mentally, I was done.

Physically, my legs were getting tight, but it wasn't hurting too bad.

At around mile 18 I ran out of water again, so I stopped back by the house. I contemplated just pushing through, but I didn't want to risk anything. And mentally I knew I could talk myself into going back out for the last 2 -- I wasn't going to come this far to quit with 2 miles left.

So that's what I did. Even though my legs were getting really tight, I pushed through the last 2 miles and got all 20 done.

And for once, I have all the data!

Here are my splits:


And here's my pace chart. I'm really proud of how well this run started off, but I'm not too excited about how much I had to walk at the end.


For the race, I'm planning on walking through the water stops, which are every mile, so I'm not too discouraged about the walking.

And I think the marathon course only gains around 400ft total, compared to the 850ft I gained during this run, so it'll be quite a bit flatter.

Overall, I'm getting really excited about the race.

Mentally, I'm so over these long runs; I can't wait to get past this race so I can get back to running smaller races and working on getting faster.

But I am really excited to go out and do something I NEVER thought I could do. I can't believe it's only about a month away.

All told I did 20.09 miles in 3:20:59 -- just a little slower than I did last week on the treadmill (I averaged a 10 minute mile versus a 9:50 last week).

And check out these nice tan lines I got from not putting on sunscreen (notice the band on my arm from my iPod strap)...


Next week is a rest week, then I have one more training week before I taper for the race. So excited!

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