Saturday, August 1, 2009

Back Into The Long Run Groove

When I trained for my first marathon last year, I did most of my long runs early on Saturday morning - before the family and I went to synagogue.

This is week 5 of my training, and it is only the 2nd Saturday morning long run I have done. (actually, next week I am planning to go to New York to run my long run in Central Park with Team Run To Remember!)

I set out at 6:30am for my 12 mile long run. My plan - keep it slow. I was hoping to be somewhere in the 11:00/mile range and that my HR would stay in the 150s or below.

I put on my Amphipod water belt with two bottles of water, and took two GUs with me - one for 45 minutes into the run and the other for 90 minutes into the run. I also took my iPod - I let the Genius feature put together a playlist first based on Billy Joel's Scenes From An Italian Restaurant, and since that playlist was not going to be long enough, I supplemented it with another Genius playlist based on Simon and Garfunkle's The Only Living Boy In New York (yes, both songs with a New York theme...).

The beginning of this run went very well - my splits were all in the 11:00 to 11:30/mile range and my average HR was in the 150s or below. After mile 7, however, I started to lose steam - I kept up the same pace mostly (mile 8 was slower, but a large part of that mile is uphill), but my average heart rate started to climb into the 160s.

Also, around that time, I felt I needed more water. I rationed my water out until the end, but having a third water bottle would have been nice. Before my next run over 10 miles - especially given that this is summertime - I need to add the third water bottle to my water belt.

I finished the run in 2:16:24 - an 11:23/mile pace, with an average HR of 158. It's a tad slower than I would have liked, and my average HR was higher than I would have liked. However, I ran the entire 12 miles - no walking - which was a big accomplishment given my performance last weekend.

I also decided to check back in my running log to see how I did on my 12 mile run in last year's marathon training. I ran an 11:13/mile pace with an average HR of 153. It was definitely a better effort than now, but there are two main differences - that run was two weeks later into my program, and it was 31 degrees on that run - not in the mid-70s like today. With as hot and humid as it was today, 31 degrees sounds delightful!

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