Then on Saturday I went out there with the DCRR again and hammered out a very tough 21 mile run (18 @ 6:50 pace with a warm up and cool down). This was one of those confidence boosting runs. My legs were still tired from the track workout, but the first few miles were at a pretty relaxed pace.
Then one of the guys who consistently runs marathons in the mid / upper 2:40s dropped the hammer around mile 3 and started cranking. By the top of a huge hill at mile 8, I was already toast. The thoughts of how I could shorten the route or when I would start walking were already creeping in.
I hung on to him until mile 11 or 12 and just couldn’t hold pace. I was cramping up and wanted nothing more than to walk / jog to ease it in and find a way to shorten the route for a few miles. I pulled myself together though and instead shifted to a more comfortable but still brisk pace. We had probably dipped down to 6:20-6:30 pace, and I adjusted back closer to 7:00s.
I was still hurting, though. The sustained fast pace and hilly section from miles 7 to 10 just killed me. The goal was to hang on as long as I could and then ease in the rest of the 18 mile loop.
Things got worse before they got better, but they did eventually get better. I guess the old ultramarathon saying that “it can’t always get worse” finally proved true (I have had plenty of ultras where it does in fact always get worse).
7 minute miles are pretty easy for me at this point, and I was finally able to start recovering from the punishing early miles. The cramps were easing up, and I was able to start dropping the pace into the 6:45 range. I put in a strong finish and a solid pace for the last few miles. It was great to be able to run for about 10 miles after I was already pretty spent and manage to hold a good pace. Hopefully it is good practice for the last 10 miles of the National Marathon!
That run took a good amount out of me, and my harder workouts over the rest of the week were not great, but that is to be expected and doesn’t worry me too much.
Anyway, here are the digits for the last two weeks:
Week ending February 3rd
- Saturday: 7 miles easy. Still recovering.
- Sunday: 7 miles easy. Still recovering.
- Monday: 11 miles easy. Finally felt my legs coming back to me.
- Tuesday: 12 miles easy. Again felt much better.
- Wednesday: 14 miles. 20 minute tempo run @ 5:54 (almost 3.5 miles). 1x400 @ 68.
- Thursday: 6 miles easy
- Friday: 10 miles easy
- Total: 67 miles
Week ending February 10th
- Saturday: 21 miles with 18 @ 6:50.
- Sunday: 15 miles easy with cross training & lifting.
- Monday: 6.5 miles easy.
- Tuesday: 12 miles. 5x800 @ 2:45. 800s were really tough. I was hoping to do 8 of them, but my legs were pretty wrecked, so I was happy enough with this.
- Wednesday: Off
- Thursday: 10.5 miles. 7 @ 6:27 pace. I was hoping to do 10 miles and for it not to feel too hard. The good thing is that the pace was pretty relaxed, but my body was just really exhausted.
- Friday: 7 miles
- Total: 72 miles