Saturday, September 22, 2012

Caution: LSD May Be Habit Forming

I effectively did a weekday 16 miler today.  I know it's Saturday, but I worked Friday night and was scheduled to work Saturday night, so running 16 miles Saturday evening is equivalent to a 16 miler before work on a Wednesday for most of you.  Made possible by 8 hrs shifts instead of 12s!  As it turns out, I took another on-call night tonight, but I was already done with the 16 miler, showered, ate dinner, and dressed for work before they called, so I say it still counts as a "weekday 16 miler".  

I decided to take on-call so I could surprise Jeff for his 30th birthday tomorrow.  He thinks I'm at work right now.  I'm actually at Denny's.  I bought a cake and stuff to make for breakfast form him in the morning.  I'll go home after he's asleep and just be quiet and hope he doesn't wake up.  But that has nothing to do with running.  Moving on. 

I decided that I need to knock off the slacker pace on the long runs, now that the marathon is getting close.  1 month to go!  I am sick of 11-12 min/miles for my long runs, which is where I have been falling when I try to keep my heart rate below 159. The long slow distance (LSD) is such a large part of mileage that my legs are getting in the habit of moving at that pace, and I'm afraid I'll default to that on race day when I start getting tired.  So today I decided to try to do my 16 at marathon pace, whatever that is.  My goal is 10:35 min/mile or less for a PR, but I was really targeting an effort level more than a pace.  I headed out and tried to keep the effort up and not go into slog mode.  (slog=slow jog.)**  The weather was great and I felt like I moving pretty fast, but was still comfortable.  I checked in with my Garmin a few times and saw my heart rate consistently in the 160s, and my pace usually 9:45-10:20 when I checked.  I was pretty psyched.  That pace seemed very sustainable for a marathon, the effort "felt right", and 10:10-10:20 was basically what I was thinking I should have.  The run went really well.  I did a 4 mile loop around my house four times, and really didn't ever get tired.  (The cooler weather definitely helped with that!).  

And then I got done.  And checked my final time and average pace.  2:49 or 10:35 min/mile.  Crap.  I thought I had done better than that.  I mean, it's fine, and it's still better than I've been doing, but I was expecting better based on the "spot checks" I did of my pace while I was running.  And that is exactly the pace I need to match my current marathon PR.  So whatever.  We'll see.  Here are the graphs and splits for your viewing pleasure. 
Pretty consistent the whole time, with both pace and heart rate!  (Ignore the heart rate spike at the beginning, I'm pretty sure that was a fluke.  Either that or I have some kind of arrhythmia).  

That run concludes my peak mileage week.  I'm at 44 miles this week, and it was a great week.  10 miles with 5x1 mile intervals (800 jogs) on the treadmill, 3 miles easy, 10 miles with 5 miles @8:55 tempo run, 5 miles easy, 16 miles @10:35 long run.  Once again, the two easy runs were the suckiest.  Weird.  Next week is my 20 miler, but it's a lower mileage week because the other runs are shorter (6-4-8 instead of 10-5-10).  What do you all think about doing a half marathon at a hard effort two weeks before the marathon?  I have 14 miles on the schedule two weeks before and was thinking about doing that bridge race in Frankenmuth.  Even if I don't do it, I'm going to keep trying to keep all my runs at 10:35 min/mile or better, just for the sake of habit-forming and getting my body used to that pace so that hopefully I *default* to that instead of slower when the going gets rough.  The 20 miler may be an exception to that.   I don't want to get injured!  There's still plenty of time for injury.  I got hurt less than a week before the Phoenix marathon in 2009.  Ugh. 

It's freezing in my booth at Denny's.  My nose is numb.  I'm gonna go.  Thanks for reading.  Run on, my bleeps.  

**Please note that I mean no offense to anyone by calling an 11-12 min mile slog pace.  Everybody has their own slog pace, it's all relative to what you're used and what your normal paces are.  My 5K race pace is slog pace for a lot of people I know, and my slog pace is 5K race pace for others.

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