Monday, June 8, 2009

Now What Do I Do?

After Friday's 17 mile run, I had convinced myself that there was no way I could run a PR in two weeks and that the best strategy would be to run with the 5:30 pace group. And then I have a run like today. I was in Burlington, VT and the weather was perfect. I decided to do a 1.5 hour run and take it easy. The first part of my run down to Lake Champlain included a mile long 300' descent. The whole way down, I'm thinking to myself, "this is going to be a real bear to run up after an hour and 20 minutes". Then I was on the bike paths and ran along the lake with spectacular views. I rarely looked at my Garmin, but when I did, I saw that I was running faster than marathon pace. My left brain was telling me to slow down and save my energy for the long uphill, but my right brain was telling me how beautiful it was and that I was feeling great, and that I should just keep going. I reached 45 minutes and turned around, still enjoying the scenery and seeing all the other runners, bike riders, and kids in the parks, all the while in the back of my mind I was thinking about that long long uphill finish. When I got to the start of the uphill, I slowed a little bit, but kept chugging along. I caught a couple of red lights and had to stop for maybe 10-15 seconds each time, but every time I thought about walking, I channeled my inner Jessica and kept on going. When I finally got to the hotel, I was tired, but not exceptionally so. When I downloaded my Garmin, I was amazed to find out I had actually run a negative split! Even with that monster uphill, the whole run was under my marathon pace. So, now I'm thinking that a PR might just be a possibility. Of course the conditions would have to be perfect. So, if the temperature at the start is under 50, the forecast for my finish time is under 70, no rain, overcast skies, AND a tailwind....if ALL those conditions are met, I'm going to go for a PR. If not, then I'll hang with the 5:30 pace group and have a fun time.

Now for some pictures.

Yesterday I was in Canton, OH. They have a nice rubberized running track that is about a 1.5 mile loop, but first you have to run through a kind of shady part of town.

Then there is a nice half mile gravel section.

And now on to the running track. I think this was built in the 70's because they also have exercise stations along the track.

Here is the start of my run in Burlington. You can see Lake Champlain about 1 mile away and 300 feet down.

On the way, I passed a Jazz Festival going on. After my run, I went back and enjoyed some good tunes.

A couple of views of the lake.


David Ray said...

That plan sounds like a good one! Stay flexible. Beautiful pics! You are well traveled.

johnmaas said...

Let the race day conditions dictate what you do. Start out nice and easy. Hit 16 miles and evaluate how you're doing.
I don't think a marathon PR is out of order with the training you have gotten since January.
See you soon!

Jessica said...

Hey there! Way to go!! The funny thing is, is that we all know you are capable of this and so much more (hence the track run that was 37 miles) and YOU are the one that is still surprised by yourself! Nice job!! Good luck, but more importantly, have fun!!

Jess said...

Marathon training can be such a mind trip with the ups and downs in confidence, but I figure it's always best to shoot for your best, so good luck as you plan ahead to a PR!