Compare and contrast:
- 18.1 miles 2 weeks ago in 3:33:26, average pace 11:50; time/pace does NOT include water/bathroom breaks.
- 20.1 miles today in 3:24:41, average pace 10:13; time/pace INCLUDES all time from start to finish (water, bathroom, etc).
Quite a difference huh?? I was actually kind of hoping to have a shitty run. This is the 2nd time I've ever done a 20 mile training run; the first was in 2008 preparing for the Phoenix marathon in January 2009. That run went great too. Awesome even. And then the race sucked. Bad. So I was hoping to get all the shitty out on the 20 miler today and hopefully kill the marathon instead. Well that didn't happen, so hopefully I'll just kill both of them. Splits to the right, pace/HR plot below. Guess which mile I was getting passed by a girl from my running group (Heather) and latched onto her? (If you said mile 9, you're right!!) And which mile involved a detour off the course to hit a porta-john? (Mile 13, ding ding ding!). And check out those heart rates. Except the bathroom break, I averaged above 170 for the last 9 miles. 6 splits were sub-10:00. Unheard of.
So yeah, this was a good confidence builder for me, after a string of 11 and 12 min paced long runs. The 9:teens and 9:30s definitely felt too fast, but the 9:45-10:2x's felt good. I'm tempted to just hop in with the 10:00 min/mile pacers at the marathon and hang out there. Should be doable right?
The only reason this run was possible today was because of Heather. I was kind of struggling running by myself, and when she started to pass me I decided to try to run with her. When I first sped up to keep with her I thought that there was NO WAY I would be able to sustain her pace. It felt (and was) so much faster and harder. But after a mile or two it became more comfortable and "normal" after the initial system shock. I did end up losing her up a hill around mile 17, but I kept her in sight (mostly because she slowed down on her own too after she passed me). We chatted throughout the 8 miles we were together and it was great. For me anyway. I hope I didn't ruin her run if she was planning on being all zen by herself or something!!
We ran on Hines drive with Running Fit for their Fall 20 mile training run. It was pretty sweet. Very race-y atmosphere. We even got bibs. (Probably so they would know who to give water/gatorade/Gu to.) The aid stations were every 2 miles, and each one had water, Gatorade and Gu. The first one wasn't set up when we came through (the volunteers hadn't arrived yet), but there were water jugs there and some people were mixing their own Gatorade and stuff. That made me nervous because I thought they would all be like that, but the longer we went the better it got (volunteers in place, cups pre-prepared and handed out like in race). Here are some pre-run photos:
|Hey, are those fall colors I see?? Or is it just the way the sun is hitting, combined with my crappy phone photo?|
After the race (I'm calling it a race because that was race effort dammit!!), they had bananas and giant muffins, and maybe other things that I didn't notice because I was too busy drooling over the muffins.
I had a record breaking level of salt-crust on my face after this run. So sexy. I tried to get a picture, but it really doesn't show up, despite multiple attempts and varying lighting conditions.
|Both sides of my cheeks, the small area of exposed forehead, my chin, AND my some of my neck & chest. I should have scraped it into the shaker. Ha. Yuck.|
That's all I have to say. Hopefully I can find a pacer as good as Heather during the race. Perhaps a touch slower....