Sunday, October 03, 2010

Last Long Run...

Not really. Not for me. But I've been training and running long with my Chicago girls Marci, Mel and Kris, and they had their last long run today. And I was able to meet Marci & Kris out at Grapevine for 8 miles (EIGHT!? Slackers! WTH?) because by this time next week, they'll be basking in their post-marathon glory. So it felt like a last long run for me, too.

Marci & Kris at the turnaround of our 8-miler. 
But it's not. Not really.  I have two more long runs before I get to start the taper. One of them is going to be done next week in Tyler, at the Tyler Rose Marathon. My plan is to go out at marathon pace for the first 22 miles and then evaluate and see where I am and how I'm feeling. If I'm still on pace for a sub-5:00 finish, then I'll crank it up and run it in to the finish. If for whatever reason (hills, anyone?) the wheels have fallen off, then I'll walk it in for the last four miles, gather my hardware and my rose plant and come on home. The girls were harassing/lauding me this morning, asking who in the world runs a marathon as training for a marathon?  Well, I do... mostly because I love the hardware.  But also because I wanted to be in solidarity with them as they run their race in Chicago that day. And also because I kinda-sorta want NYC to be #10 for me. And I really want to see where I am in a race situation. And because I *really* love the hardware...

The following week, I have my true last long run, a 22-miler. Again, I'm going to go out at race pace and see if I can hold it for the full time, without the noticeable slow-downs that have plagued me the last four fulls.  Will I be able to do it? I think so. I need to continue to eat cleanly, for fueling purposes, not for recreation and reward. I need to keep up the weekday runs (hit 100% again this week, total of 44 miles from Monday-Sunday) and keep the intensity while watching out for burnout. But I think I can do it. I feel stronger than I ever have before. I feel leaner than I have ever been as a runner. I know I am faster than I have ever been, as demonstrated by my unofficial 10K PR mid-week.

But can I put it all together and string together 26 consecutive 11:15 miles to get me to my ever-elusive goal time?  That is what I am trying to get a preview of next week in Tyler. I know the hills and elevation there will make it tough. But, if I can hang even close on that course, then I will have that much more confidence going into NYC. And if I can't then I'll still have one more long run to try to dial it in.

Five weeks. Getting there...

1 comment:

Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

You have so many miles on your legs recently... good solid long runs... I have no doubt you can pull it off. There's always that added push on race day. Good luck! Looking forward to the "I did it" report.