Do What Feels Good

Today’s Run

Time – 1:32:45
Distance – 10.0 miles
Pace – 9:14 min/mi
Elevation – 200 ft.

IMG_1457
Found some pot on my run…

I went out to run because the weather was warm (it was over 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and I needed to get in my longer run for the week. I knew that I only wanted to do 90 minutes or so, and I figured that it would be between 8–9 miles for a run that long. 92 minutes later, I ran 10 miles. The leg felt just a little tight, and I was definitely needing food and water by the end, but it didn’t slow me down much. Lots of wind, which didn’t help the splits, either. VERY GOOD RUN!

The other part of this is knowing when to let your legs go faster

Yesterday, I talked a lot about knowing when to slow down. I went out today and, after the first mile, I kept looking at my watching and saying, “Wow! You need to ease off. You’ll never get through 7 more miles at this pace.” Then I went and ran the next three miles sub–9:00 pace, and the three after that between 9:06 and 9:11 (mostly due to starting and stopping at cross streets and for traffic), and THEN I slowed down…to 9:30’s. And that was because I was up the big hill to home and then into the wind.

It was a great run! I felt fantastic. I’m really starting to believe that my goal pace is going to be achievable by the time I get to the marathon in April. I’m wanting to go sub–4 hour, which is going to be fast (for me). It’s also something that I’m sure will be VERY difficult to sustain over 26.2 miles, but I’m gaining confidence. I know that there’s still a few things I need to work out:

  1. Nutrition/Hydration – You can’t go 4 hours without having to refuel. You actually can’t go longer than about 90 minutes before needing to find calories usually, unless your pace is very low and you are running primarily on fat stores. This is how people can run multiple marathons a day, every day, and get across the U.S. in less than 43 days. But even those people still need to eat and drink. I’ll have to work on my strategy and get my body used to consuming on the run.
  2. Working up in distance – Right now my longest runs are about 15 miles. I should get in at least three runs of around 3-hours to get my legs used to the effort. I don’t have to run at marathon pace the whole time, but I have to work on running when tired.
  3. Running distances at pace – The corrolary to long runs are “longer” runs at goal pace. I’ll need to add more runs in the 75–90 minute range around my planned marathon pace. I have the ability to do this because it’s not so far out of my range that I’ll have to over-work to get in the mileage, but it is faster than I normally run. That being said, my “normal” runs are about 5–7 miles at a comfortable pace (9:30–10:30), which has been slowly increasing. I think that it’s possible I’ll be able to get to 9:00/mile pace as a steady run.
  4. Overall aerobic fitness – The biggest part of this is just continuing to get better at running. I know that going sub–4 hour is a goal for now; I don’t think it’s where I’m going to end up peaking. I think there’s a little more in the tank. Does that “little more” get me to a Boston-qualifying-pace (3:10 for the marathon – 7:15/mile)? We’ll have to see. In the meantime, I just want to get faster across the board, and run more medium distance races to add to my aerobic capacity and test it out. Everything that I can do to be more efficient helps with the larger goal – Western States.
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