Log for September 18 – Training for Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9th. Goal for the fall and winter marathon season is to break 3:15 for the first time.
- 22.2-Mile Long Run – After missing the opportunity to run with friends on Saturday morning due to business travel, I needed to get in my last long run for Chicago this morning before worship services. Our church begins worship at 9:00am, so this meant I needed to get started by 4:30am….OUCH!
My goals for this run were simple: (1) I wanted to complete at least 22 miles (2) I wanted to spend at least 3 hours 15 minutes on my feet in the aerobic zone. Other than this I didn’t have any specific pace objectives in mind. On my long runs this training season I’ve been slowly pushing my time spent in the aerobic running zone longer and longer with a goal of making my last long run the same time as my goal marathon time.
I started out from the Edwin Warner Park nature center in the dark, and began by running down the Harpeth River Greenway with a short excursion into the park. It started raining during the first mile and continued for several miles before letting up. I came to the end of the Greenway after four miles with an overall average pace of just over 9 minutes per mile, and was feeling relatively good.
Next I turned left onto Harpeth Bend Road, and then right onto Beach Bend Road after a couple of miles. At the end of Beach Bend Road, I continued onto Sawyer Brown and followed that all the way to the vacant Bellevue Center Mall. At this point I had completed just over 8-miles, still averaging just over 9 minutes per mile, and feeling really good. At the mall I took a very short break for a Gu and some fluid.
When I started back I completed a lap around the Mall and then came back out on Highway 70 running east. I followed Hwy 70 all the way out to Old Hickory Boulevard before turning around and running west on Highway 70. When I turned left on Colice Jeanne road I had just completed 12-miles, still averaging just over 9 minutes per mile. At this point I was very pleased at how good I felt, and was also happy that the sun was beginning to rise.
After a short run on Colice Jeanne, I turned right on Baugh Road and followed that all the way back to Sawyer Brown. From this point I followed Sawyer Brown to Gen George Patton, back to Sawyer Brown, then back on Beach Bend. I came to the end of Beach Bend just as I was completing mile 15, and started feeling awful. This came on all of a sudden. I stopped briefly and felt very shaky. Don’t know if this was the caffeine from the gel, or just from being tired, but I started to wonder whether or not I would be able to finish. I took another Gu (without caffeine) and some fluid and decided to run again very slowly down Harpeth Bend Road. Over the next mile or so I began to feel a lot better almost as suddenly as I started feeling bad.
When I came to the end of Harpeth Bend, I crossed Hwy 100 and went back into the park just as I was completing mile 17. My average pace was still just over 9 minutes, and I was feeling really good again. I realized that I could begin picking up my pace if I wanted to get in 22 within the 3 hour 15 minute goal. With this in mind I finished mile 18 in 8:27.
I grabbed a little more fluid at my car before heading back into the park for the final 4 miles. Even though my legs were fatigued I was feeling good enough to push the pace even more through the finish. My last 4 miles were 8:16, 8:18, 7:55 and 7:22. I ended up needing to run an additional .2-miles to finish a full 3 hours 15 minutes.
Overall I’m very pleased with this run. Both goals were accomplished, and with the exception of that weird episode at mile 15, I felt really, really good. I’m also pleased that I met both goals, and was able to run some faster miles at the end. With the final long run in the books, it is now time to taper toward the race which is 3 weeks from today.