Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hitting On All Cylinders

Nice easy recovery run on Sunday after really good long run on Saturday
What a great weekend of running!  After recovering from a nagging hip for most of the Spring, I'm in full fall marathon training mode ... and really beginning to hit my stride, at full strength and healthy!

The weekend started with a great long run on Saturday morning.  It was a 24 miler with 76F degrees & 91% humidity in the rain.  It actually didn't start raining until about mile 10, and I can tell you those first miles without rain were flat-out brutal.  But the showers really seamed to cool things down a bit, and helped, if nothing more than psychologically.

The 24 spot was the 6th run of 18 miles or more during this cycle.  I won't get in depth with why I run so many 18+ runs, including a 24 miler on this post, as I know many people think it's too much and too far.  But suffice to say, the longer my long runs, the better I do on race day.  It just works for me, we'll leave it at that.

The plan was to go out easy and comfortable, and if I had anything left in the tank, work in a "fast finish" with the last 6-7 miles at race pace.  The primary focus would be on my running form and fueling.  For some reason, I've been struggling a little with fueling this summer and I needed to get it figured out before the Maui Marathon in six weeks.  And speaking of the Maui Marathon, the conditions and course that I charted were the perfect simulation for what is sure to be a beautiful, but gruelingly hot and humid race.

Rain run photo I took for my Instagram page
Per my schedule, the first 17 miles were ran at about an 8:13/average pace.  The pace felt smooth and natural, and I walked through all my water stops.  So with the walking, I was probably closer to 8:05'ish.  I also ran the 3rd Street Hills ... or the 3rd Street "Kills" as I call them.  It's a series of 4 fairly short, but steep climbs over a two mile out and back stretch near Longview Community College.  The only minor distraction during the first 17 was a pain on the top of my left foot, probably from having my shoes too tight - and also the irritation of my shoes being soaked and sloshing by mile 10.

At mile 18 I decided to speed up a little and actually was able to run the last 7 miles miles at an average pace of 7:22 with the following splits ... 7:50, 7:22, 7:22, 7:21, 7:11, 7:11, 7:20.  I finished the 24 miles with an overall average pace of 7:59.  Pretty good considering the conditions.

My fueling went really well also.  I moved my big pre-race meal of chicken & rice & spinach to lunch instead of dinner, and then had a chicken breast sandwich and some more bread for dinner.  Also, I took 4 gels at miles 5, 10, 15, and 20.  They were GU Salted Watermelon with caffeine.  I took two salt capsules at miles 9 and 17.

Even though I basically ran a marathon on Saturday morning, I couldn't believe how  much energy and how great I felt for the rest of the day.  There was 0% stomach issues like I sometimes have after marathons, and my energy level was still incredible.  On Sunday morning, I was a little "hung over" from the long run, but didn't have any pain or tightness at all.  So I got in a core workout and an 8 mile recovery run.

I've been hitting my training pretty hard this summer, including more upper body work than normal.  The results so far have been very positive.  I feel really strong and in great shape with 6 weeks to go until Maui.  Maui isn't my "A marathon" this fall, as I'm sure I can't PR on that one.  The goal will be to qualify for Boston there, but that will be a task considering the course and conditions.  But I've got a 10K in September I want to run strong, and then I'll find a fast marathon, probably in October, to test myself with.  Hopefully I can strong and injury free.  Everything's going well so far!  Hopefully your training is going well too.  Have a great week!
... Be Great Today!


  1. Sounds like you are in good shape for your marathon. I know I've driven the Maui marathon and it is rolling hills and it was warm (I was there in March). If you like coastline views it has some outstanding scenery. I certainly thought the could would be challenging, so I am glad you are getting in a solid base.

    I've always felt going 24 was a bit too far. With the amount of toll that the long runs take out of you, you in effect ran a full marathon at near race pace. However, I am a full believer of to each their own and you know what you can tolerate.

    Either way I hope you post a week or two of your weekly workouts. I'd love to see your weekly regimen again.


    1. 24 miles is definitely dicey Eddie, and I always debate whether or not I should do it - but it seems over the years that what injures me is the speed, and not the distance. It seems if I run easy, the mileage doesn't hurt me - but rather, gives me a huge confidence boost going into a race, and puts my mind at ease as to whether or not I can get through it.

  2. Definitely in very good shape. Twenty-four miles is a tough test! Do you treat these long long runs like race rehearsal?

    1. Definitely, that's why I do it - to simulate everything that the upcoming race will have. I'll eat and prep exactly the same way for two days, and even mark a similar course and conditions if possible. Just like with the comment above, more than anything, it helps me mentally prep for the race.

  3. I don't think I would be able to tolerate a 24 mile training run for a marathon, but then again, I've never done it so I don't really know. A go to Long Run Workout for me done usually 2-3 weeks before a race that has done well in predicted my fitness is as follows:

    2.5 hours total run as follows:
    30 minutes easy/aerobic,
    60 min Goal Marathon Pace,
    20 minutes easy/aerobic,
    20 minutes Goal Marathon Pace
    20 minutes easy/aerobic

    The easy/aerobic 20 minutes in between the marathon pace segments really does a number on your legs and if you can run the second marathon pace segment equal or better to the first, that's a good ball park for your race pace. In the past I've been a few seconds per mile faster on race day than this predicts.

    1. Thanks for sharing that JD - I've never tried that approach but I can see where ramping down in the middle of the run, and then ramping back up again would really test your legs and endurance. I am absolutely going to give this a try! Thank you for the info!!!

  4. I think if I ever made it to 24 on my own I would be way too tempted to run 2.2 more!! I have done a 22 once and 21 a few times but usually stick to 20. Good job getting in some harder pacing at the end!

    1. Everytime I run 24 miles Tia, my daughter says exactly the same thing, "Why didn't you just run a marathon?" ha

  5. What's really great is that the injury you had has finally gone and you can train like you want to. Sounds like you're fit and ready to go.

    1. Definitely Char, I'm 100% past the hip thing, which was only a bout with bursitis, and now I feel better than ever!


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