Saturday, September 12, 2009

18 with 10 at Marathon Pace

I wish I had some fancy words or clever way to describe today's run. But I don't. It was hot and miserable. I worked at the Duck and Run 5k (another post on that will be coming) in Athens this morning and did not get up to do my long run before the race. That was my first mistake. I started the run at 11:00 AM and it just got hotter and hotter! The schedule called for 18 miles with the last 10 at goal marathon pace. I ran 18, but I blew up at the end and only got 7.5 or 8 at marathon pace.

Misery. Yep, that's the only word that fits. I've definitely learned that heat has serious adverse effects on my pace, heart rate at a given pace, and the way I feel after a run. It was 83F at the start and peaked at 95 at about 1:00 PM. That's just too stinking hot for a long, hard run!

To Quit or Not to Quit?
I've never wanted to quit a run as badly as I wanted to quit today. I kept asking myself, "Do you feel an injury anywhere? Do you feel like you're going to pass out? Are you dizzy?" I kept having to honestly answer those questions, "No," which meant that I had to continue or be a wimp. The only problems were normal running pain and extreme fatigue. At about mile 15, I wanted to do anything in the world except continue running. But I continued running. The pace slowed such that running may not be the best word to describe what I was doing, but I continued anyway.

I hope my physiology and psychology adapt positively to today's workout. After all, isn't that the goal of training? It hurt, and I continued through the hurt with nobody to push me. Hopefully I gained some mental and physical toughness.

The Good
On the bright side, it was good to see some familiar faces out and about today. I saw Mike O. who was inspired by today's ABS cross country race. He was running sub 8:00 pace when I saw him. And I saw several of the usual suspects there.

The City of Athens was having an employee picnic. At mile 16, my water bottle was dry and I was parched and spent. I begged for a bottle of water from them, freely admitting that I had no money with me and that I was not an employee. Apparently, I looked pretty sad at mile 16 because I didn't have to ask twice! THANKS!

Oh yeah, I broke 70 miles for the first time ever this week. Nice. 73 and change for the week. It won't be the last 70+ mile week before the marathon.

Splits are below for anyone who cares.
  1. 9:12
  2. 8:41
  3. 8:46
  4. 8:41
  5. 8:36
  6. 8:37
  7. 8:32
  8. 8:09
  9. 7:22
  10. 7:22
  11. 7:18
  12. 7:12
  13. 7:23
  14. 7:23
  15. 7:32
  16. 7:48 (The blow up is beginning)
  17. 8:30 (Stopped for water from city employee, but still, I was fading!)
  18. 7:54 (It took everything I had to keep this one under 8:00. I kept saying, "It'll hurt at least this bad on race day. Fight through this.")

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