Since I'm cramming my weekday runs in this week so I can get them all in before Disney, today became my weekday "longer" run in which I usually do my speedwork. However, tonight is also when I lead Israeli Dancing for 3 hours...so I didn't want to tire myself out too much doing intervals or a tempo run.
So I decided to try a marathon pace run. That is, try to run at the pace that I think I will run the marathon in. This is a bit faster than my long runs, but slower than normal speedwork.
Last night I had to start contemplating what will my marathon pace be? I ran my first marathon last year in 4:59 - an 11:25/min pace. I'm pretty sure I can improve on that - but by how much? I took a look at what finishing times corresponded to what pace: an 11:00/mile pace is a 4:48 finishing time, a 4:40 finish is a 10:42/mile pace and a 4:30 finish is a 10:19/mile pace.
I'm thinking that a 4:40 finish may be an attainable goal. So I left the house this morning thinking to myself that I wanted to try and run a 10:40/mile pace.
Great plan. Poor execution.
I guess I had in the back of my mind that this was "speedwork" because most of my splits were 30 to 40 seconds faster than 10:40. The two miles that were close - mile 2 was 10:37 and mile 5 was 10:45 - are all pretty hilly (I looked at the elevation on the map and both have steady climbs of over 100 ft over the mile).
Or perhaps it was because I was listening to some upbeat music on my iPod? I've been known to space out and/or change my pace to the cadence of the music when I am listening to tunes while running.
Either way, I went way too fast. I had 4 out of the 7 splits at faster than a 10:10/mile pace. It's fine for a normal run - but there is no way I'm running a marathon in 3 months at that pace.
The final stats for the run were 7.1 miles in 1:13:27 - a 10:20/mile pace. My average HR was 159 with a max of 177 (I did not look at my HR for the entire run...I was trying to focus on pace instead).
Tomorrow is another easy 4 and then off to Florida!