Monday, November 13, 2006

A Really Good Run

After Thursday's 10 miler, I was ready for a couple of easy days. On Friday I did the first half of my normal cross training (rowing, abs, weights, cycling), and then went out for a very easy 4 mile run on the trails. It was a beautiful day and I wanted to make sure I enjoyed the remainder of the good weather for the season. (Forecast called for rain and dropping temperatures starting on Sunday.)

Saturday, I did another easy run. Two laps around Fresh Pond for a total of 5 miles. The weather was holding. It was a bit cooler, but still quite nice. And then the day just kept getting nicer and nicer. I figured Sunday morning would still hold some pretty good running weather.

When I got up Sunday morning to do my 12 mile goal pace run, it was just unbelievably warm. And I thought I had already done my last run for the year in a T-shirt! It felt like it was well into the 60's at 7:30 in the morning. It was overcast and almost muggy. By 6 miles I was absolutely drenched in sweat.

The plan was to practice running marathon pace, complete with a 6-mile cutdown. My current estimated marathon pace is 8:30 per mile (enough for a solid PR, but not enough for a BQ -- we'll see how the training goes). So the idea is to run the first two miles at 9:00, the next two at 8:50, and the next two at 8:40. That's a gradual cut-down over the first 6 miles to the goal pace of 8:30. The remainder of the run (6 miles in this case) is done at goal pace -- 8:30. It adds 2 minutes to your marathon time to start the first six miles like this, but it also forces the runner to start conservatively -- saving valuable energy for the later stages of the race. This is important for me to nail down because more than once I've gone out too fast (and there is evidence that going out too fast also contributes to cramping in the late stages of a marathon). So here's how it panned out...

Miles 1 & 2 -- 18:16 (16 seconds behind, 9:08 pace versus goal of 9:00). (just a bit slow)
Miles 3 & 4 -- 17:46 (6 seconds behind, 8:53 pace versus goal of 8:50). (much closer)
Miles 5 & 6 -- 17:18 (2 seconds ahead, 8:39 pace versus goal of 8:40). (almost spot on!)
Miles 7 - 12 -- 50:31 (29 seconds ahead, 8:25 pace versus goal of 8:30). (oh, yeah.)
Overall -- 1:43:51 (9 seconds under goal).

This run felt GREAT. I felt like I could have continued the goal pace for several more miles. It's still very early in the training cycle (15 weeks until the marathon) and I feel confident I will at least be able to run my next marathon at this pace (a bit faster if I can lose a few more pounds).

And that gave me 44 miles for the week (similar mileage to last week). This next week bumps it up a bit more with a 16 miler on Sunday to 48 miles. I'll be ready for my first serious long run.



Blogger D said...

Nice quick pace Kurt. More importantly, you felt like you could run longer after finishing up. This is great.

11/13/2006 2:32 PM  
Blogger olga said...

What a solid pacing! how do you time your miles? i've been thinking of tempo runs, but not sure how to guage them. Normally I go by effort (there was time I used HRM, but then still unclear of the pace, only average as I drove the "course" by car).

11/14/2006 5:49 PM  
Blogger Kurt in Boston said...

There is a map of the Charles River trails complete with mileages. I use that in conjunction with's google earth mapping.

11/14/2006 6:05 PM  
Blogger runliarun said...

Only imagining what is entailed in all those numbers, which you spread around with so much nonchalance, makes me dizzy. But I also can understand it, although I've never been there. That's odd.

11/14/2006 6:08 PM  

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