On Saturday I ran my first 18 miler in quite a while, and focused on trying to average my Boston Marathon qualifying pace of 7:48/mile. The result ... 7:47/mile. I was thrilled! Granted, in the past when I've been in top shape I've turned in sub 7 minute 18 milers. But I'm older. Not in top shape. And it was a really good measuring stick of what I need to get to get to where I want to be.
The 18 miles concluded a 53 mile week of running, which was also a huge positive step forward. I had only been averaging in the upper 40's for the past month, but decided to push it a little. I added a double run on Wednesday, and at the end of it all I felt pretty good.
So what do you do on wobbly legs the day after your first 18 miles in quite sometime ... run a 10K of course! On Sunday, Michael and I ran the annual Plaza 10K on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. It's one of our favorite events, and with almost 3,000 runners, it's one of the largest stand alone 10K events in the country.
Last year I ran probably my best race of any event ever, winning the 126 runner 45-49 Age Group with a personal best 38:20, a 6:11/mile pace. But I understood a few things going into the race this year. One ... I was NO WHERE near that condition this year. And two ... even if I was, I just ran a pretty hard 18 miles the day before. So I decided to start slow the first couple of miles and then just ramp up a little toward the end without killing myself, for a good up-tempo recovery workout. And overall, it was mission accomplished.
I finished with a decent 44:36, which earned me 10th place in my Age Group. Here were my splits ...
8:44, 7:27, 6:49, 6:40, 6:46, 6:28
The splits actually look like a short version of some Tempo Runs I've done lately, so even though I ran fairly hard, I knew I hadn't pushed it too much. Overall, it was just a really great medium to high intensity workout.
So with about 10-12 weeks until my Fall marathon, I feel pretty good about where I'm at. I really want to Boston Qualify again ... but even though I ran an 18 miler at that pace this weekend ... I still have a lot of work to put in. But running hard again really seemed to get my mind right and hopefully I'll stay healthy as I get it rolling again. Have a great week!