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Eighteen Saturdays: Canton Marathon 2012, Week Four

This was a pretty good week: I did both of my three-mile runs outside on a new out-and-back route (as opposed to a loop), which means I wasn’t on the treadmill at all, and I did my first double-digit-mileage run since last September (and only my second since August of 2010!).

Tuesday morning, I just couldn’t bear the thought of the treadmill, so I went out in the pre-dawn darkness and put in three miles carrying my flashlight and wearing a blinking green shamrock medallion (part of this year’s In Like A Lion race packet) on my back.

Wednesday morning’s six-miler was kind of a bear – the weather was much better than last week’s rain-drenched five mile pace run, but trying to find and maintain race goal pace was much more difficult. First mile was an 8:15, but I felt like I had hit the wall through most of miles two and three, and they took 8:23 and 8:55. Mile four had a couple nice downhill stretches, but it still took me 8:36, and the fifth mile just sucked: 9:09. I recovered enough to push back with an 8:42 final mile, but afterward, I really found myself questioning whether an 8:23 is doable for 26.2 miles. I’m still going to keep shooting for it, though.

Thursday I just couldn’t drag myself out of bed in time to run, which turned out to be a blessing: It was warm that morning, but extremely windy, and though it was cold and dark by the time I ran after work that night, the wind had moved through. Still feeling the sting of the previous day’s letdown, I pushed myself a little and did my three miles at an 8:12 pace.

I’ll admit that I really wasn’t looking forward to Saturday’s 11-mile run, even though the long runs are about mileage and not speed. I plotted a new course for Adam and me to run (Higdon’s Novice 1 training, which I used in 2009, doesn’t include an 11-miler.), and bought a PowerBar and PowerGel for the morning, too.

It was only 20 degrees when we set out, but it was sunny and calm, so we warmed up pretty quickly and got out to a good start. Still, the third and fourth miles (particularly) felt like a lot of work, and though my lungs felt OK, my legs were saying, “Hey – seriously? We’re doing how many more?”

A nice second wind came out of nowhere, though, and the fifth mile felt pretty good. I consumed my gel just past the five-mile mark, and drank some extra water to wash it down.

After the big climb that finished the sixth mile, the rest of the way was decent. Some slow miles in there, but we did the last two in 8:56 and 8:30 respectively, which was enough to pull our overall pace back to just below the nine-minute mark. Best Saturday pace so far, and one second per mile faster, in fact, than the previous Saturday’s six mile run. And I felt really good afterward.

By the numbers:

  • Tuesday,  March 6 – Schedule: 3 miles. Actual: 3.01 miles. Time: 25:09. Pace: 8:21/mi.
  • Wednesday, March 7 – Schedule: 6 miles, race pace (8:23). Actual: 6 miles. Time: 52:03. Pace: 8:40/mi.
  • Thursday,  March 8 – Schedule: 3 miles. Actual: 3 miles. Time: 24:35. Pace: 8:12/mi.
  • Saturday, March 10 – Schedule: 11 miles. Actual: 11.18 miles. Time: 1:40:08. Pace: 8:57/mi.

March 11, 2012 - Posted by | Ohio, running, Sports | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] had been two weeks since our last pace run – which I hadn’t enjoyed, and during which I struggled to finish with an 8:40 – and we were covering the same distance and route. This time, I wanted to try to get out to […]

    Pingback by Eighteen Saturdays: Canton Marathon 2012, Week Six « Cornfield Meet | March 26, 2012 | Reply

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