Happy Friday!!!! I am so excited for my long weekend, only a few more hours of catch up and I will be out the door to start the madness. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my training schedule would be changing this week, and my long runs being moved to Fridays. I had never done a true long run before a full day of work, but I wasn't too stressed, Friday's are normally pretty easy right?
I felt lucky that my first pre-work long run fell on a cut back week, so I wasn't trying to tackle some new distance while getting into a new routine too. I have planned all my step-down long runs to be done quicker than step-up weeks since I am obviously comfortable with the distances. Today was scheduled 15 miles, and since my last 15 miler sucked, I wanted another chance at this distance, and it seems like a good number. Will a half marathon coming up in 4 weeks, I also wanted to take the opportunity to get in some pace miles there and push for the first 13 to really see what will be feasible for that race. My goal was 5 miles @ MP and 5 miles @ HMP for 10/15 under marathon pace. For safety purposes since 4:20am is kind of shady on a Friday, alone, I again decided on the 6 mile route so it was broken into 6/6/3.
The first 6 miles absolutely flew by, kind of like during lsat week's 18 miler. I found myself oblivious to the fact that I would have more miles to do after 6, but that was the idea behind it, to push the whole time, I wanted to know I left everything out there today, I hate finishing my long run and thinking "well I could keep going". When I got to then end of mile 6, I was actually kind of annoyed that I had to refil my water and grab gu, but within 2 minutes I was back to it. Those were some of the best 6 miles I think I have had, I didn't care too much about time, and I knew I was moving quick enough to get some goal pace miles in so I just went with it, thinking about football and my upcoming weekend:)
Mile 1- 9:48
Mile 2- 9:42
Mile 3- 9:26
Mile 4- 9:33
Mile 5- 9:18
Mile 6- 8:57
As I quickly headed back out for the next 6 I was nervous I got to excited/pushy in the first 6 and maybe this would end badly, but I got right back into my stride and found a similar pace right away. These 6 were where I planned to get in my really quality miles both @mp and @hmp so I made sure I didn't let up. After the first 2 miles where I saw comfortable negative splits, I knew I would be fine, and I was so surprised how great I felt as I kept seeing all these great times pop up after each mile. These 6 miles were almost as good as the first, they went by fast, I felt great, so great I opted to not stop for the gatorade I had at the end of mile 6, and just keep going, I took the other half of my gu, and the little sip of water I had left.
Mile 7- 9:26
Mile 8- 9:20
Mile 9- 9:07
Mile 10- 9:11
Mile 11- 9:03
Mile 12- 8:55
When my mind cleared away the 6 and I started to think about the 3 miles left I kind of let up a little bit, my legs certainly couldn't keep up 3 more sub-9:00s and I didn't want to see some ugly positive split, so I tempered the first mile a bit and took it from there. I still felt good during the first 2/3, they went quick and I didn't find myself counting down the 1/2 miles until I could stop. As soon as I started the last mile I felt myself just crash, I should have probably gotten the gatorade at mile 12, but I knew it wasn't just that. I really put all my energy into this run, and I could see it in my times, they are so much faster than normal!
Mile 13- 9:25
Mile 14- 9:13
Mile 15- 9:27
15 Miles- 2:19:51, 9:19 average pace!
12 miles under goal marathon pace
This was the fastet long run I have ever had, ever! I always feel like I play it pretty conservative for long runs since I am tackling a brand new distance every time that I don't want to go too quick and not have anything left to finish, but with my next 3 longer step-up runs all being pretty much the same distance, I am hoping I can focus on speeding up more on the 2nd and 3rd one. This run though gave me so much confidence for everything, for my marathon, my half, my running in general. I feel like I have spent so much time building up my distances that my paces have kind of suffered, I almost felt like all I ever saw was a 9:30-9:40 pace or something waaay faster in a much shorter distance I was really beginning to believe I would not be able to really increase my pace for longer distances. The other part that I think is SO helpful is breaking the run into parts. I don't even think about the other part or remaining miles when I do that, all I think about is that piece (i.e just 6 miles) and it is so much easier to push yourself harder when you are only thinking in terms of 6 miles instead of 15, I think when I think of it that way is when I get too conservative. Any tips for completely ignoring the rest of the marathon and only focusing on each 5-6 mile segment?
I actually found the pre-work long run to actually work pretty well, my brain tends to operate much more efficiently on a work day, so I was all business this morning, and I think that mentality really helped. I was smart to pick out my clothes, and pack all food last night so all I had to do once I got home from running was shower, get ready, and walk out the door. I am liking having the run done so I can enjoy the rest of my weekend, it should be a crazy busy one, stay tuned for details of all the traveling adventures!