Sunday, October 07, 2007

Do or Die

so I said earlier that I had a "do or die" 15-miler today. what I meant by that is that I had to do the distance to stay on track with the plan for the White Rock Marathon the 2nd week of December. I've been playing with my schedule lately to the point that this week's distance had to be covered, or I couldn't really safely escalate the long runs to 20 miles in the time I have left. The weekday runs have been going well and i know I could cover the mileage physically. The question was whether the brain had 15 miles in her.

I got the answer to that question pretty definitively when I was getting ready for bed last night. After a morning run of 5 miles (in pretty ridiculous humidity) and then 6 hours walking around the Texas State Fair, not to mention Friday's leg-focused weight session with my trainer, I was feeling pretty beat up, and the legs had taken the brunt of it. As I set the alarm for 5:00, a necessity in order to 1) race the sunrise and accompanying heat and 2) be back in time for the boys to get to 9:15 checking clinic at the rink, I halfway griped that I had to run today. So Hub very innocently suggested that I cut back today's distance, or even bail on it entirely. Now, he's fully supportive of my running and racing, and his suggestion was not meant to be negative, in a saboteur kind of way. Rather, it was him reacting to what he knew was a tough week and a long day yesterday, and his way of telling me that the only person who expected me to run was me. He said maybe I should plan to do the half at White Rock and plan for a spring race like Austin or Houston or even Cowtown close to home. But my instinct, and my final decision after thinking about it during the run, was to say, "No way. I'm doing White Rock again. It was my first, and as much as I hate that damn lake, I'm doing it again." When faced with the prospect of NOT doing it, I realized how fully and completely I want to do it again. Getting the miles in has to be a priority to make it happen, and so it will be.

So, all that to say: I ran 14.5 miles today. I did the first 12 out on the road, in two huge sweeping loops around my house. I finished the last 2.5 on the treadmill in the playroom; I could have gone the last .5, both physically and mentally, so I decided I didn't need to. I know that doesn't make sense. But I'd demonstrated to myself that I could do 15, and that I can do the full 16 called for next week and the week after that. Then a cutback week, and then 18, 18 and 20, right in time for taper right after Thanksgiving. This will happen. My times have been slower than last year's time when it comes to the long runs, and I'm OK with that. I'm not feeling beat up and defeated at the end of the runs, so I'm doing better with hydration and nutrition. I feel like after 5 previous races, I know better what I need to do to prepare for this. And I'm poised and ready to do it.

Mile splits (all but the first include 1:00 of walking at the start of each lap -- I'll be doing this during the race, so for the first time, I'm training like this):
Mile 1: 11:11
Mile 2: 11:20
Mile 3: 11:55
Mile 4: 10:58
Mile 5: 11:12
Mile 6: 11:21
Mile 7: 11:30
Mile 8: 11:34
Mile 9: 11:44
Mile 10: 11:32
Mile 11: 11:29
Mile 12: 11:49
Mile 13: 12:00 -- on TM inside
Mile 14: 12:00 -- on TM inside
Mile .5: 6:00 -- on TM inside

Total Time: 2:17:43 outside, 30:00 TM, total of 2:47:43


Vickie said...

Very consistent running! Great job. I think sometimes the mental is harder than the physical, and it looks like you have covered both today.

John said...
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