Sunday, December 28, 2008

Kenyan Way 24 miler 12/27/2008

I have not really blogged about any of my long runs or training runs because I try not to keep too much detail about "MY" running(I do like to read other bloggers' runs though!). After all, I don't feel like I'm a potential Olympian so I don't need that much detail. The only thing I care about is my race results, the rest is just maintenance. This is how I try to keep it fresh and not burn out. There's no need in me obsessing about a recovery run. I apologize to those of you that like to read these things, I will post something when it is anything of significance, like say for instance yesterday's 24 miler. This is really the last significant test before the marathon. So I was really looking forward to this run.

A couple of weeks ago we did a 24 miler and Andrew and I really knocked it out. It took us about 2 hours and 46 minutes to finish it, which is about a 6:55 pace. The last 6 miles we averaged about a 6:2x pace. This morning would be a lot tougher because the temperature would end up being about 70 something degrees with about 90% humidity. Sean advised all of us to not worry about finishing the last 6 or 7 miles at marathon pace. It was enough to just finish. Andrew said the heat and humidity would not give us any illusions of trying to hammer it at the end and I certainly agreed. The plan was to take it easy for the total 24 miles. So as we gathered in our pace groups, some of the usual cast of characters showed up. Andrew Sharenson, he and I have been finishing our long runs together the past few weeks and he has really been able to push and keep the pace strong along the way. Jeff Streit, a very good runner who usually finishes near me in a lot of races. Chris a guy who transferred from Houston Fit and James who has been running with us as well.

So off we started and we went up Jackson hill to Blossom street and headed toward Memorial Park. Our first mile clocked in around 7:41 pace. I felt that we were warming up pretty quickly and we were already starting to break a sweat. The next 15 miles were pretty consistent as ran anywhere from 7:20 to 7 minute pace. When we reached the Herman Park loop that is when my legs started to feel the fatigue set in. I started think to myself, "This is going to be painful". Right about this time Chris had dropped off and it was just me, Andrew, Jeff, and James. It was mile 15 or 16 where we pulled away from James. James obviously was being affected by the heat and decided to let us go. We reached the water stop at the Rice University loop where Sean was getting ready to do his easy run with Luis. He asked what pace we were doing and I said sub 7's. He said that he and Luis could run with us then. But Luis hadn't reached yet so he told us to go on. He also jokingly said (At least I think he was joking) to do the last 6 miles at marathon pace. We kind of laughed and shrugged it off. I mean how could we expect to run at marathon pace in this kind of weather(marathon pace = 6:26)? Little did we know that we would easily end up running this pace and much faster. So we started our loop around Rice U and my legs started to feel much better now. The previous 3 or 4 miles I had been trailing Jeff and Andrew, but now I decided to pick it up a little. This little ended up being quite a bit as we clocked a 6:30 19th mile. Now this was totally unintentional and I didn't feel I was going this fast but when it happened I kind of expected that we would probably all slow down again but I ended up opening up a can of worms. The next mile Jeff pushed it out really hard and I was kind of regretting what I had done! I ended up following Jeff and Andrew was close behind and we clocked in a 6:26. By now we had reached the Hazard water stop. Jeff asked if we wanted to continue going hard. I said what the heck, it's only 3 and a half miles. So we ended completing the next mile in 6:25. By now Jeff took it out pretty fast and was about 15ft in front of Andrew and I. I was debating whether to just keep it at the 6:30 to 6:40 range, but Jeff started to pull away from us a bit. So I said what the heck, let me just run right behind him. So I started to pick it up and methodically I started to catch him and soon I was running beside him, but for some reason I felt we were moving pretty fast and was prepared to hammer it the rest of the way home. And then the Garmin clicked and rattled off 6:04! I told Jeff, that's CRAZY! He definitely agreed and so we slowed it down to 6:30 pace the next mile. Jeff told me when I caught him, he thought he was slowing down so he sped up and so I sped up too. We just sort of fed off of each other a little too much there. At the last water stop Andrew, who was about 15 to 20 seconds behind asked us what pace we were running and we told him and he said "Ok, kid's have fun!!!". We told him we weren't going to do that again and that we only had a mile and a half to go. So the last 2 miles went 6:30 and then 6:55. We used the last half of mile 24 as sort of a cool down after the speed work we were doing. The final time ended up being 2 hours 48 minutes. Just 2 minutes off of our previous 24 miler, but being done in the humidity and heat. Our splits looked like:

  • Mile 1: 7:41
  • Mile 2: 7:13
  • Mile 3: 7:13
  • Mile 4: 7:21
  • Mile 5: 7:21
  • Mile 6: 7:17
  • Mile 7: 7:00
  • Mile 8: 7:01
  • Mile 9: 7:07
  • Mile 10: 7:15
  • Mile 11: 7:15
  • Mile 12: 7:39 (Port 'o potty search)
  • Mile 13: 7:00
  • Mile 14: 7:23
  • Mile 15: 7:03
  • Mile 16: 7:12
  • Mile 17: 6:53
  • Mile 18: 6:54
  • Mile 19: 6:30
  • Mile 20: 6:26
  • Mile 21: 6:24
  • Mile 22: 6:04
  • Mile 23: 6:30
  • Mile 24: 6:55
  • Totals: 7:02 pace

A couple of things here. I think I'm in good shape to do what I need to do on marathon day. The other thing was it was probably stupid to do what we did at the end, but it happened, and sometime is bound to happen when you feed off of each other like that. Hopefully no damage was done.

Today I had to do 9 miles easy. So that's what I did. My running was more like 9 mile leg shuffling, but it was good because it moved that gunk out of my legs from yesterday's run. Monday I'll probably do 9 more miles of leg shuffling and Tuesday I'll probably get back to 9 miles easy.


June said...

Thank you for going outside the 'running box' and posting about the long training run!!!

Bill said...

This post was especially for you June :)