Log for August 19, 20, & 21 – 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.
- 4-Mile “Barefoot” Run – It was unusual to have a full 24-hours of rest before my Friday “Barefoot” run in my Saucony Hattori’s. Normally I have track on Thursday night, but this week I had to run on Thursday morning due to an event at Kate’s school. Paxton and I did our normal 4-mile route through Bellevue at a very relaxed pace. I continue to gain confidence running in the Hattori’s, and am also more confident than ever in my decision to add “barefoot” running to my schedule with the information that I’m learning from the book Born to Run. As usual, Paxton and I commented that we felt better at the end than the beginning, which is the tell-tell sign of a good recovery run. Tomorrow is my first 20-miler of this training season, so I needed a good recovery run.
- 20-Mile Long Run – My goals today were simple: (1) Finish 20-miles (2) Spend 3 moving hours on my feet. On my 18-mile run two weeks ago, I spent 2 hours 45 minutes on my feet, and want to continue to push my aerobic threshold out past my marathon goal time of 3 hours 15 minutes.
There were 8 of us (Paxton, Marc, Jenny, Megan, Marti, Dawn and Lisa) that met out at Wave Country for a 20-mile long run along the Stones River Greenway. My morning did not start off great. I woke up late and was in such a hurry to get ready that I forgot to bring anything to refuel after the run. I did remember to grab a Cliff Bar, gels, Gatorade, and water on the way out, which was good. Unfortunately the heat and humidity has returned to Middle Tennessee, so hydration was going to be critical.
I’m grateful that the group waited on me even though I was 10-minutes late. With the frantic morning, it took me quite a while to get into a running groove. The pace for the first 5-miles was only around 9:30, but I still felt our of sync. We intersected with Ed and Judy around mile 2, and they joined us for a significant portion of the run.
At the 5-mile mark I had to run over to Jack-in-the-Box for an unplanned pit-stop, so I told the group to go on without me. I knew the planned route included a couple of out-and-back segments, so I was confident I could intersect with them pretty quickly. After the pit-stop, I subconsciously picked up my pace to around 8:45 and slowly started getting faster and feeling better. As I ran down the first out-and-back segment, I expected to see my group, but made it all the way to the end and they were nowhere in sight.
Through what turned out to be weird timing, I continued to miss them until I was running my 12th mile. As I approached Percy Priest Dam on miles 9 and 10 I really started feeling better, and after turning around at the Dam I felt fantastic. I finally saw my group on the second out-and-back, but they were running in the opposite direction. I wanted to turn and run with them, but I really needed some water, and there was a fountain at the end of the out-and-back, so I kept going.
Paxton broke off from the group and started running with me, which I am very grateful for. After getting some much needed water, Paxton and I started pushing the pace all the way through mile 15. We got some more water at 15 (and a gel), and then kept going. We kept the pace around 8:30 for the next couple of miles before getting back into a very hilly section.
I continued to feel pretty good through mile 18, but I could tell that Paxton was beginning to really feel it. This was not surprising since he had run that entire distance with no Gatorade or gels. I’m really not sure how he made it that far. For the rest of the run I either waited for him at the top of the hills while he walked up, or walked with him up the hills. When I got back to Wave Country I was right at 20-miles, and even though I walked up two significant hills with Paxton, my overall pace was still 8:50. This was actually faster than I wanted to run because that was only 2 hours 57 minutes on my feet.
This was by far the best I’ve felt on a long run this season, and actually felt much worse after I stopped. It was almost like my body was in shock. I started taking in as much fluid as I could and resisted the urge to lay down in the grass and kept moving. After about 10 minutes I started feeling lots better, and was very thankful that Paxton had brought an extra banana since I forgot to bring any of my recovery bars.
When I got home I took a 20-minute ice bath because my legs felt really beat up. I’m not sure which is more painful, the final 2-minutes of a 20-mile run, or the first 2 minutes of an immersion ice bath.
Overall this was a very successful long run. Felt great in spite of the heat, humidity, and frantic start to the day. Lots of confidence gained today.
- Rest Day – As usual, Sunday is my rest day. My legs feel pretty good today after the 20-miler yesterday. This was another good training week. My mileage was just under 50-miles (48.7), which is slightly less than planned, but they were still quality miles. I’m at 146-miles for the month, and am pushing to try and get in 200+ miles for the month of August.