Friday, November 03, 2006

I'll Remember This One

With just the standard cup of coffee and a quart of water in my belly, I headed out the door at 5:15 this morning for my longest run since the marathon in June. The goal was a steady effort for two hours and forty five minutes, so I figured with some luck I'd end up with 24 or 25 miles. This was the last morning my wife would be home until next Saturday, so it was my best opportunity to get a run this length in. Yesterday's seven miles at marathon pace seemed to be pretty well flushed from the legs, or at least that's what I told myself in order to get out the door feeling good.

I tucked a bottle I mixed with powdered gatorade near the porch before I headed out with the intent of visiting it once or twice during the course of the run. Since it was still pitch black outside and would be for much of the run I decided to stay close to home with multiple loops of two to five miles.

I tried to just relax for the first ten miles and found that I was averaging 6:50 pace to that point. After a quick swig of gatorade I was off again, and while I tried to move a little quicker for the next seven miles I still tried to run comfortably. When I made my second and last stop for a quick drink I was averaging 6:47 for the 17 elapsed miles.

When I headed out for what I figured would be the last eight miles I had in my head that I would try to increase the pace if I was still fairly comfortable when I hit 20 miles. I hit that number three miles out from home and saw that the average pace had clicked down to 6:44, and since I was still getting faster I decided to put the clamp down a bit. Here I hit the lap split to get my pace for the last five miles, and when mile 21 passed at 6:20 pace I was amazed. I really didn't think I would have anything in the tank at this point, with no breakfast, no gels and a workout from yesterday in my legs. Fortunately I quickly forgot about all that and got back to business. Each mile got progressively faster, and when I reached mile 24 and I was right around 2:40 I figured I'd go ahead and make it an even 25 miles. When I slowed to a stop in the driveway I checked and found that I had averaged 6:14 for the last five miles, and better still, I knew that I still had a mile or two in me at that pace or faster. However, it would probably take the promise of a cheeseburger to get me to run any further.

This was a good day, and I'm really starting to feel very positive about my condition. Even without any breakfast I seemed to be free from any sort of blood sugar or fuel issues towards the end, and in fact I felt like I was just waiting for the right time to speed up like Andrew described in his marathon report.

Days like this can be few and far between, and one happening towards the end of my highest volume week just five weeks out from the marathon bodes well. Now back to the eating. Have a good day.

25 miles, 2:45:55, 6:38 pace, with last 5 miles at 6:14 pace

18 comments:

Greg said...

Nice. Very Nice.

tb1 said...

Fantastic workout Mike. I know you have been experimenting doing long runs with no food or gels. Are you going to do the marathon without a gel or two? Just curious.

Blaxabbath said...

Tight.

Wayne said...

Yup, you've got to love these kind of runs. It's showing that your in great shape and easily ready to take down your maraton PR.

Mike said...

Thanks guys. Tony, I'm planning on a gel after about an hour, and probably a second one 45 minutes later. I usually pack three and use two. I'll also eat breakfast on race morning, though probably only 600 calories or so.

Mark said...

VERY POSITIVE! That's the way to do it, smokin'

Eric said...

As a wise young man in Bloomington Indiana once said, "that's a tight pie."

That is throwing down, Mike. Nice run. If that doesn't give you confidence regarding the last few miles of your marathons, nothing will.

Man, that was fun to read. Take care of your legs the next couple of days. 2:45 is a long time to pound around, especially that fast.

Phil said...

Very nice run indeed. It must have been fun to just get faster and faster with each loop.

Laurie said...

You are a machine.

Running Rabbit said...

Well well well well...you are my new FAVORITE blogger. I love you!!! Can you guess why?? :-)

Yvonne said...

what a positive post to read - great work! if i wasn't just super motivated by Thomas' latest news, i certainly am by yours! cheers.

Mike said...

Thanks again all. Yvonne, I'm glad to see you back at it. Rabbit, I just happen to think some runners could go much faster if they removed the stick from their ass- it throws the stride off.

Running Rabbit said...

But I like sticks up my ass!!!

You are too funny baby doll!! :-)

Lawrence said...

wow.

Jim said...

Nice running! Sounds as though you're hitting your stride at the right time. Best of luck with the next four weeks!

Eric said...

What just happened here? I think my eyes are bleeding...

Duncan Larkin said...

Mike, I daresay, you are in the 'shape of your life' right now. This run is very telling of your fitness because of its progressive nature at the end (where you usually have problems). Fantastic stuff!

Anonymous said...

You're starting to scare me now. That is getting beyond super-fit.