Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The flat 20

So, my next (and last) 20 miler before the marathon was on Saturday.  I had originally planned on Sunday, but the schedule changed, and an opportunity presented itself.

My goal was to run 16 miles slow, and then 4 at marathon pace.  Here's the conundrum that I face (as do all first timers): What the hell is my marathon pace?

I'll not hide it, I'd love a 4 hour marathon.  That's a 9:09/mile pace.  OK, let's use that as a starting point.

I took a route that was flat.. It's actually an old railroad track that was ripped up, paved, and used as a community walking/running/biking/etc path.  It's a 4 mile lap.  Sigh.  5 trips on this.  It works on the mental toughening as well.

The good thing about this was that I could park my car at one end, keep all of my water, Gu, etc in it, and not have to carry much. That's a win.

I also decided to try Gu'ing every 4 miles instead of every 5.  This is the time and place to try it.  I also brought 2 salt packets, to see if they would help with the cramping I experienced last time..

So, the weather was hot, and I was slightly under the weather due to some random cold that mini-Raul brought into the house.  OK, let's go anyway.

Lap 1.  Splits: 9:52, 9:45, 9:59, 9:41.  (The 3rd one has a walk break included in it, as scheduled)
Lap 2.  Splits: 9:55, 9:47, 10:06, 9:43 (Walk break executed here as well)
Lap 3.  Splits: 9:46, 9:49, 10:12, 9:40 (Walk break is getting longer, but not bad)
Lap 4.  Splits: 9:42, 9:38, 10:14, 9:53

Between each lap, I had a half liter of water, and a Gu.

OK.  That's pretty consistent.  9:40ish to 9:50ish.  I was cranking these out with no problem.  This is a 4:15 marathon, provided it could be maintained for another 10 miles.

I turned up the gas.

8:41.  Solid.
9:29.  Yeah, you can see where this is going.
12:01.  The wheels are coming off.
8:15.  Huh?  Oh, right. I actually only ran a half mile for this.  The wheels were off, flat, and long gone.  Crash and burn, baby.

Pace chart here:

I shuffled back to the car.  It actually took me 10-15 minutes to let the agony subside enough that I could drive.  Somehow, I managed to make it home and cook dinner.  I put on a pretty good act, because I never heard a word about how I looked.  (And let's not tell Mrs. Raul about this, shall we..?  I'll never hear the end of it)

After I ate, I felt a shit-ton better.  Excuse my TMI, but, my urine was very dark.  I was probably dehydrated, and potentially low on electrolytes. (Given that I was covered with salt at this point, it's not out of the question).

The next day I felt fine.  Muscles were sore, but I had no pain.  Next day was good.  Today, I ran a fairly brisk 4 miles.

So, I'm at a decision point.  I'm thinking I should scrap the 4 hour marathon plan.  My half was a 1:52.  The weather will be cooler.  However, I haven't had a long long run that has gone extremely well.

There's a pace group for the marathon at 4:00, 4:10, and 4:25.  (What, no '4:20' pace? j/k)

4:10 is a 9:33 mile, 4:25 is a 10:07 mile.

Do I scrap the pace groups, and settle in for a 4:15 pace?  I have absolutely no idea.

Keep on rockin'.

1 comment:

Carolina John said...

yea you were dehydrated. You need to take in more water in the last half than you did in the first half of the long runs like that. I gu every 4 miles as well, and having a 4 mile lap that you can hit is a good course. I once did a 20 mile run on a 1.1 mile lap around a lake. it drove me insane.

you're ready to marathon now!