Sunday, September 28, 2008
Miracle Mile 15K and The 18 Mile Long Run
Two great running adventures to tell about this weekend! :-)
Saturday began with the Miracle Mile 15K. This race is run in downtown Orlando and tends to attract the more competitive of the running community. You have to maintain a 15 min/mi pace to participate and the top female in my age group (45-49) ran it in 1:03:11, a 6:46 min/mi pace! I was 51/73 for my age group, 407/584 women, 881/1106 overall. Still, I was very pleased with my 1:41:04 finish time.
For some reason, I thought the race started at 7:30, so I naturally timed my arrival for 1 hour before the race to avoid the last minute crowds. When I arrived near the race area at 6:30 there were crowds everywhere. I finally double checked the race information and found that the 15K started at 7:00! It all worked out ok - I got my car parked and even got my porta potty stop in before lining up for the race. The race started a little late because people were still arriving.
I had decided to run my target marathon pace (11:00 - 11:30 min/mi) so I took a nice easy pace right at the start. I wasn't sure how I was going to work in my walking breaks so I did them at the mile markers initially. Later I settled into walking through the water stops. I also kept my walks to about 30 seconds. I was feeling pretty good, the weather was cool, and all conditions were ideal! My only problem was where to put the Clif Shot I had with me. I didn't want to run with my fuel belt and it didn't fit into that little pocket in my running shorts. I ended up carrying it in my hand until I took it between mile 4 and 5.
After a few miles, it appeared my pace was close to the 11 min/mi point - which I was happy with. I greeted most of the police officer's working the race - wishing them a good morning and thanking them for working the race. As I got further on in the course, I started to chat with a few runners. I ended up speeding up a bit running with them. I also skipped a walking break here and there.
Near the finish, I felt great so I picked up the pace the last 1/2 mile or so and sprinted the last .1 mile, passing at least 20 other runners who were bunched ahead of me. I finished about 1 min short of a PR - but felt great with an AHR of 159 bpm. A little high but still within my aerobic zone.
Sunday 18 Miler
So after running a strong 15K on Saturday, I wasn't sure what to expect today for my scheduled 18 mile long run. Surprisingly, my Saturday runs have not hurt my Sunday long runs but seem to help them out. According to the Higdon training plan, Saturday should be run at race pace and Sunday long and slower. I have been running Saturday's runs pretty easy so far.
I also felt pretty crummy yesterday afternoon and then in the evening. I had a headache so I popped some Advil and headed to bed - hoping to feel better in the morning.
I got up a little later than I have for recent long runs - at 5:30 am with the intent to start running about 6 am. My headache was gone and I felt ok - just the normal 5:30 am tiredness. I decided to split the run into 10 miles then 8 miles - stopping at the house in between to refill water.
I started out really easy - with the goal just to finish and a hope I could keep the pace below 13 min/mi - but that I wouldn't push my pace if I was feeling it too much. I ran 5 minutes and walked 1 minute. As it turned out, I felt REALLY GOOD through the early miles. My heart rate was nice and low - in the low 140s for the first 9 miles. Low heart rate for me means I am not working so hard, meaning I have gas for the latter part of the run. I was feeling good but I didn't want to start to push the pace until I was about 5 miles from the end. I decided if I felt good then I would step it up.
My AHR stayed below 150 until I got to mile 13 - and since I was 5 miles out, I stepped it up. My average pace until this point was about 12:12 min/mi. My last 5 miles were around 11:55 with my 18th mile in 11:30. Although it was feeling harder the last 2-3 miles, I just got it in my brain that I was now training to push through the end of that marathon :-). I also got a little help from my iPod tunes. I was around 17 miles in and feeling like I really needed a break when Jackson Browne's "Running on Empty" came on. The Forrest Gump in me kicked in and I picked it up a notch.
What a great long run after racing yesterday! I think I will focus my Saturday runs on race pace for now on!
Have a great running week everyone!