Course: Last 11 Miles of Prairie Fire Marathon Course - Lee's Summit, MO
Workout: Tempo Run
Total Time: 1:15:21
Avg Pace: 7:08/mile overall & 7 Tempo Miles @ 6:37/mile
Avg HR: 159
Elevation Gain: 218 ft
Calories Burned: 1,486
Temp: 58 Degrees, Humidity 93%, Wind 17NE
Every once in a while you have one of those workouts that makes you feel like everything in your training is coming together ... TODAY WAS ONE OF THOSE DAYS!!! I had the opportunity to run the last 11 miles of the Prairie Fire Marathon Course while in Wichita on business, and it also just happened to be my Tempo Run day (Thursdays). And in somewhat challenging weather conditions (93% humidity & 17mph winds), I ran my fastest, strongest, and best Tempo Run E-V-V-V-V-E-R!!!
Overall that pace was fluent, smooth, and not "over the top" difficult. I just never felt like I was struggling to keep the pace. At several points I looked down at my Garmin and I was at close to 5K pace and had to slow myself down a little. Also, in the first tempo mile (mile 4), my heart rate averaged 162, which was pretty low, and then climbed linearly to 176 over the next six miles. I was really happy to see that it didn't jump into the 180 range, especially considering the humidity & wind resistance I was running in - but the course is REALLY FLAT which helped a lot. I compared the heart rate to a couple of runs last year when I was in pretty good shape for my PR in November at Tulsa and it wasn't even close. The bpm's were about 6-7 beats higher at about 15-25 seconds slower per mile. That can be a little deceiving based on varying elevations, temperature, humidity, diet, etc - but overall I think I'm in quite a bit better shape than I was then.
I only took two miles to warm up before getting into a marathon pace mile and then hitting the tempo pace, which is good for me. Usually if I don't warm up longer and slower I have trouble maintaining pace. The pace wasn't blazing or anything for some folks, but for me - this was the fastest Tempo Run I've ever had, even though it was only 11 miles total with only 7 miles at tempo pace. Following are the splits from this morning's run:
Warm Up ... 9:06, 7:50
Marathon Pace ... 7:07
Tempo Pace ... 6:35, 6:37, 6:32, 6:34, 6:40, 6:32, 6:50
Cool Down ... 8:00
At about mile 9 I could start to feel the oxygen debt in my blood begin to weigh on me a little - but it wasn't unmanageable. Just that familiar feeling when your legs get a little heavy and your spit gets thick. I really felt like I could have went another 2-3 miles at the 6:30ish pace, but I was trying to beat an impending thunderstorm so I stopped at the planned 11 miles. Probably would have just "over-done it" anyway, so it's probably best that I stopped at 11.
Over the past week I've slipped back into some old diet habits again, and I paid for it at mile 10 when I had to stop the clock for a minute to find a tree for what I thought was going to be an emergency deposit. I held it off, but I was disappointed that my stomach affected my run. It's not a huge deal, and it's something I can control - but I have to get on top of it again or it will be a problem on race day.
Also, I haven't been stretching as much as I need to over the past few weeks. As a result, I've had a few aches and pains throughout the day starting to creep in more and more. And icing at night has become more and more common. I really need to be better about stretching longer after runs. I'm almost where I want to be for the Prairie Fire Marathon in 4 weeks and need to have enough discipline to finish the job.
But all in all it was a great morning and very positive sign that I'm moving in the right direction toward successful completion of Project 3:09! I definitely needed this little boost. Hope your running is going well too!
... be great today!