Saturday, April 26, 2008

Last Long Run

This morning was my last long run.  It was scheduled for 8 miles, but I decided to go 9 miles instead.  I had a nice 9 mile loop and not much for 8 miles - and the fact is, I was just a bit too lazy to map a new route out yesterday.  Plus, this course gives a great perspective on how the City of Gaithersburg has progressed over the past 100 years (see my post from when I first ran this course) and I really wanted to run it again.

I really wanted to keep my heart rate low during today's run, but I kept on getting lost in my music (that dissociative runner syndrome again) and running a little too hard.  My average HR was 157, but my average pace was 10:21/mile (9 miles in 1:33:18).  And I felt like I could have run at that pace for another few miles...I have got to find a Half Marathon after I recover from next weekend's marathon, as my PR for that distance will be falling for sure!

I took a look at my training log and found that the last time I ran this loop - as a long run in Week 4 of my training...13 weeks ago - I ran an 11:59/mile pace with an average HR of 153.  What a difference 3 months makes!!!  I also remember the first time I ran this route it was cold and dark (the training log says 23 degrees).  This morning the sun was out when I left the house at 6:30am and it was about 40 degrees warmer - in the low 60s.  I much prefer today's weather to January's :-)

The music I listened to this morning was Idan Raichel (both Idan Raichel's Project and MeMe'amekim since I had a good 90 minute run).  There is a song on the first album - Hinech Yaffa - which was inspired by passages of The Song of Songs.  This book of scriptures is traditionally read during the Shabbat of Passover - which is today (I chanted excerpts from 4 of the chapters of Song of Songs this morning at synagogue) - so I decided this would be good music to listen to this morning.  Idan Raichel came out of nowhere on the Israeli music scene about 5 years ago - creating a unique fusion of Israeli pop/rock with Ethiopian music.  There were two big waves of immigration of Jews from Ethiopia in the mid-80s and early 90s, however, the influence of the Ethiopian immigrants did not have as large of an impact on Israeli culture as immigrants from other countries did.  For example, when I lived in Tel Aviv in 2000-2001, I could not find an Ethiopian restaurant (more about Ethiopian food in an upcoming post, as I believe I'll be breaking Passover tomorrow night at an Ethiopian restaurant!!).  Idan Raichel's Project helped bring Ethiopian musicians (and to an extent their language Amharic) into wider Israeli culture - which I believe is helping the Ethiopian Israelis gain more acceptance.

I believe that this was the first long run I did without a single GU packet.  Again, it's Passover and some of the ingredients in GU originate from foods that are not Kosher for Passover, so I have been S.O.L. this week in terms of electrolyte replacement.  I am so glad that tomorrow is the last day of this holiday!

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