Happy Weekend! I woke up this morning with 14 miles to tackle, and to be honest I was dreading it when I first got up. Where I would have to run to be able to get 14 miles with an out and back was not ideal and I was less than thrilled, so John made a suggestion that I ended up following. I did my favorite easy 10 mile out and back and then would go back out to do the last 4, so the run was broken into three parts 5/5/4.
Since I wasn't quite sure how I would feel turning around to log 4 more after arriving back at the start with 10 miles done I decided to make sure I could get my goal pace miles in. The schedule had 14 with 5 at goal pace, so I decided I would do the first 5 easy, next 5 at goal pace, and the last 4 with whatever I had left. BRILLANT idea!!! I have made the elected decision from now on to structure all long runs like this.
From the minute I stepped out the door, the weather was nasty! 81* with 90% humidity and that was at 5am, I knew it would be a humid hour and a half until the sun started to come up and mellow it out. To say I was dripping with sweat would be an understatement, I was sweating everywhere, I could have wrung out my clothes at any point and filled up a water bottle. I feel like the extreme sweating that comes with the nasty weather is the worst part of it, I can handle the temps and even the humidity, but I feel so gross running with sweat dripping from everywhere, down my arms, legs, and into my eyes. Hopefully we will have a short summer weather wise and I am yearning for the day when fall moves in. But despite our nasty morning here I managed to rock my 14 mile run despite the choppy route I had to use, and was able to hit 9 out of 14 miles at (really: under) goal pace!
14 Miles- 2:14:50, avg pace 9:37
Mile 1- 9:58
Mile 2- 9:59
Mile 3- 9:50
Mile 4- 9:54
Mile 5- 9:47
Mile 6- 9:36
Mile 7- 9:23
Mile 8- 9:35
Mile 9- 9:21
Mile 10- 9:27
Mile 11- 9:35
Mile 12- 9:33
Mile 13- 9:27
Mile 14- 9:25
I made a deal with myself after last weekend, No more miles over 9:59! I get beyond annoyed seeing 10:xx pop up in my lap stats. I am more than capable of running under a 10 minute pace, so I needed to focus.
I was SO happy with this run, as planned I did the first 5 miles easy, and they felt great, the next 5 I was easily under goal pace (9:40) for all of them, and could have pushed more but remembered I still had another 4 miles to go- oh yeah, duh! The last 4 I had little expectations for, but to stay under 10, well when I saw mile 11 under goal pace I decided I needed to hit pace for the last 4- no questions asked. I finished feeling strong and that I could have kept going, maybe not at the same pace, but if I had needed to, I could have.
To be honest I feel better physically after this run than I have after my 12 and 13 miles runs recently, no overwhelming stiffness or soreness, just a few little twinges. I think a lot of it had to do with a more consistent pace, I wasn't trying to increase my speed by 30 seconds per mile just at the end, I only had slight increases to make, and my legs were already warmed up to those speeds. As mentioned before I think this will be the key for me, starting my goal pace miles earlier in the run. I think its easier to stay at or around goal pace in the last few miles if you have already put in several miles at that pace, rather than trying to make a huge jump at the end. And if for some reason I can't hold the pace the last mile or 2, I still would have gotten in more than enough miles at goal pacee.
So my 2 new rules for all future long runs are as follows: No miles above 9:59 and start goal pace miles earlier, it will be easier to maintain.
Hope everyone else had good long-runs today, off to enjoy the weekend!