Saturday, October 14, 2006


As I stopped the watch at the end of the run it read 2:34:21. All I have to do now is figure out how to squeeze 3.2 more miles of running into that amount of time and I'd have one hell of a good marathon.

For the first time in a few weeks I had a plain-old vanilla long run scheduled for the day after the marathon pace workout. With no fast miles planned at the end I decided to run from my door, which for a 2+ hour effort usually means a few downhill miles towards the beginning and a few tough, uphill miles through gut-check alley on the way back. As far as pace goes, anything under 7 minutes would do, but I was hoping to average around 6:45 if things didn't go south.

The first 12 miles or so zipped by without complaint, but at mile 15 I started to grind my way through the uphill portions of the run. I don't mind a progression run where you actually get the confidence boost of running progressively faster, but having to run harder just to keep the same pace or not to lose too many seconds while toiling uphill is not the kind of progression I enjoy. But son, it builds character. This is the marathon, especially towards the end when you can turn a quote by Greg Lemond on its head. "It doesn't get any easier, you just get faster", he says. It's more like "It just gets tougher, and while you feel like you should be going faster you're lucky to even keep the same pace."

Once up and out of the Valley of Doubt I started home, but my plan to stay out for 2:35 or so meant a few additional laps on my time trial course. The legs were heavy at this point, but the speed kept getting just a tick faster per mile. At 19.5 something punched a hole in the gas tank, and my mind started to go a little negative. Any thought of an impromptu "fast finish" run evaporated here, but I was able to hold pace until I made it back to the garage.

The legs definitely worked today, though in the last hour they've pretty much gotten back to normal. It's nice to have this run out of the way and to be able to coast through my last training day of the week tomorrow. Have a nice weekend.

Training: 23 miles, 2:34:21, 6:43 pace


Duncan Larkin said...

Fantastic run, Mike. This run shows, that you have a solid base underneath you. Keep up the fire.

Mark said...

Awesome w\o! If we raced tomorrow you would still kick my butt.

BTW, I want to say thanks for your help with input on my IT questions for the Gallery. Turns out I got an A in the class (Systems Analysis & Design).

Lawrence said...

Great workout!

Phil said...

Awesome run Mike. Your general level of fitness at this point in your training is so much better than before San Diego (which was damn good). You'll squeeze those 3.2 miles on race day.