Note to self: No leftover chili for lunch the day before the marathon.
G.I. distress is fine, but throw in a devil wind, warm temperatures and a Garmin that decided not to turn on and you have the makings of a tough marathon run. I drove ten miles to the river path before I realized the Garmin was toast, so heading back wasn't an option. Luckily the river path has marks every 100 meters thanks to the University of Arizona's cross country and track teams, but between the darkness in the morning and the stretches of interrupted pavement (they can't really paint washboard sand) I was pretty well confused for my first 10 miles at a planned 6:45 pace. I knew from past runs where to turn around (I did the first half as an out and back to take the brunt of the wind for the first five), but as I came upon the marks I kept thinking they were wrong. One mark would seem too early and the next came too late, and it was only when I reached the turnaround at 32:10 that I realized I was running under 6:30 pace into the wind. I tried to slow down on the way back, but finally just settled in to a heart rate of 138-140, even though it was still ahead of pace. When I grabbed a drink and took a gel at 10 miles I was just under 1h05m, but there wasn't much I could do about it.
Since the wind was really picking up and blowing in one direction on the path, I decided to run the first two of the ten miles at 6 minute pace with the wind at my back, then turn around and run into the wind for five miles before letting the wind push me back home for the last three. By now it was light enough to see the marks on the path, so by adding two seconds to each 1600 I figured I would get an accurate reading on my pace for each mile.
Adjusted splits: 5:56(142HR), 5:58(152), 5:57(158), 6:00(159), 5:44(157), 6:03(159), 6:01(164), 5:54(164), 6:00(163), 5:42(164)
I pretty much ran by feel, and as expected the miles out of the wind (1-2, 8-10) felt much easier than the miles into the wind (the rest). Changes in terrain and various bridges and underpasses can explain some of the variation, but I did consciously slow a bit on the 6:03 mile after burning the 5:44. All in all it was a tough run, but I think if I'd had the same conditions today that I had yesterday I would have felt a bit stronger at the end. Still, it's a good run to have in the bank and a good end to the week:
We: 12 w/10x1000 at 3:23
Sa: 11 w/7 at 5:52 pace
Su: 20 w/10 at 6 min pace
Total: 95 miles in 9 sessions
20 miles, 2h04m
Sleep: 7h 8/10
Weather: 78 degrees, 54 dew-point, lots of wind