I set out today for an 18 miler - thinking it would be a good step between last week's 16 miles and next week's 21 miler. But alas, it was not to be.
I was pretty tired from the previous week of traveling - and stayed in bed on Saturday morning until 10:30 am! I was kind of dragging the entire day. I wasn't sure how I would feel for the run today. For today's run, I wanted to make sure I got out early enough, so I planned to be running by 6:30 am (I cannot bring my self to run as early as Susan...too dark). My husband, who is training for the Walt Disney World Marathon was due to run 8 miles, so I decided I would run my first 10, then swing by the house and we would do the next 8 together.
I started my run with this week's Phedip to get me through the first hour. The run was feeling pretty good - and I was excited that my total pace was staying under 12 min/mi. But by mile 4, my heart rate was starting to climb - a sure sign that I was starting to wear down. Stubbornly, I worked to maintain my sub 12 min/mi pace, and managed to do so for those first 10 miles. But by the time I got back to my house - I was already pretty spent. My clothes were drenched with sweat, so I used the stop to change into some dry running clothes. I also shed the Camel Bak for my Fuel belt, figuring it would be lighter to carry. I warned my husband I was moving pretty slow - he was happy to go slow and take it easy.
It didn't take long (less than a mile) for me to realize that not only was I not going to finish 18 - I was going to be lucky to finish even 15. I couldn't even maintain a slow run for 2 min with a 1 min walk with my husband. I finally told him to go on ahead without me, and that I would hook up with him while he was on his return trip. Then instead of running by time, I used my heartrate as my guide to when to walk and when to run.
My MHR is 182 bpm and the top of my aerobic zone is 156 bpm. My running strategy was to run until my heart rate passed 171 bpm, then walk until it was back down to at most 158 bpm. My heart still got the work out (in fact, was anaerobic) and I didn't over exert myself. I made it back to the house after finishing a total of 15 miles. My pace in the last 2 miles was over 14 min/mi but my overall pace for the entire run was 12:35 min/mi. Not too bad.
I don't feel bad that I didn't finish 18 - it just wasn't to be. I would rather hold back and make it through next week's run. The key will be to get plenty of rest this week - probably a pretty tall order given that I am back on the road again, in yet another hotel. There is a nice neighborhood I can run in not far from here so I have the Garmin along in case I can get out for a run before dark (or after sunup). There is also a 24 hours exercise room - I will need to see what the treadmill limit is there....