Week 3 of my marathon training ended yesterday. The miles are racking up and considering I am only running three times a week they’re increasing steadily just as the paces are decreasing. My long run for yesterday was a scheduled 17 at 8:24 pace. I set my Garmin for a 8:20-8:30 alert spread, that gives me enough wiggle room allowing for ups and downs etc! I was late getting out and instead of being on the road by before 9am it was closer to 10:30, skies had high cloud and it was coolish. A 26oz hand bottle; which I would refill at a gas station, and two gels were coming along for the ride.
Ten miles later I was cooked, and the wheels were coming off, I was also at the furthest point from my house. I had a walk break to cool down in the shade and collect myself. I pushed on another couple of miles and walked again, I was on the home stretch and a sideways loop was needed to hit the 17 mile mark, it did cross my mind that I could just trudge around and finish up the distance but the whole basis of the FIRST training program is quality over quantity, so I decided to cut things short and try and pick up the pace as best I could. I finished up the run at 14 miles, 3 miles short and an average pace (excluding walk breaks) of 8:30, at the upper end of my bracket, here are the splits:
Once I got home I felt pretty crappy mentally and physically. I was reminded that this is my longest run since, well last week but really since last September before my injury. My other consolation was that the thermometer in the garden (picture above) read 106f! Now it does sit in the sun all day so even if you offset it against the one in the car which read 92f, it averages out at 99F. So however you look at it, it was toasty!
Not to be out done I really wanted to finish off the mileage, next week is a 20 mile long run, the first of five in this program, so I need to get the time on my feet. I laced up my shoes and headed out in the cool of the evening to claim my extra 3 miles, I wanted to added some speed so I decided on a nice progression run, getting faster each mile, the splits speak for themselves:
I was once again reminded we all have bad runs; it’s what we do afterwards that counts.