>> Monday, January 18, 2010
Or “A ‘Tempo Sandwich’ Long Run.”
Or “Don’t Worry: There Are NO Gross Foot Photos Below! REALLY!”
On Saturday, I went out for my last long run before the Winter Carnival Half Marathon this weekend. I didn’t know if my heel, knee, or my tender feet (from some recent blisters) would hold up, so I came up with a route where I could bail out at mile 10 if I needed to:
So I had “Plan A” and “Plan B” to work with on my run:
“Plan A” would be to warm up for 3 miles, push hard until mile 10 or 11, ease up for the last mile or 2, and end up with 12 (as seen in the map above). I would do that if I felt OK and nothing was hurting too much.
“Plan B” would be to warm up for 3 miles, push hard until mile 9, ease up for the last mile (up a big hill), and end up with 10 (leaving out that last 2 mile loop in the map above). I would do that ONLY IF my heel, knees, or feet were hurting too much.
I threw on my YakTrax and got to work. It was a beautiful 15-20 degree morning! I saw LOTS of runners out there, and I said “hi” to nearly all of them. My first 3 “warm-up” miles were 7:30 (downhill), 8:01, and 7:35 (a short mile).
My right heel was feeling a little sore, but it wasn’t bad at all. I tried to pick up the pace at mile 3.
Mile 4: 7:53 (bit long)
Mile 5: 6:47 (bit short)
Mile 6: 7:50 (bit long)
Mile 7: 6:39 (bit short)
(That’s 7:17 / mile over those 4 miles.) I knew I could go the full 12. My feet were fine. My heel was actually feeling better (I think the 3 mile warm-up helped with that a lot!). But I just didn’t feel too comfortable running out there; I just didn’t feel “right.” I’ve lost a lot of a mental edge over the last 2 months. I feel like I used to be able to force myself to hold a faster pace and convince myself I’d be OK. I was better at “working through the pain.” On this run, I kept speeding up, and then slowing down a bit. And then I’d have to convince myself to speed up again. My times were OK, but it wasn’t a good “mental” run.
I was getting warm, so I took off my mittens. (Yes, mittens. Mittens are one of the keys to running outside this time of year. Shut your face. Don’t make fun of my mittens.) At that point - running a little warm and feeling a little hashed - I realized that I looked much like I did when I was around mile 12 of my first Winter Carnival Half Marathon 2 years ago. In fact, I was wearing the EXACT same outfit, right down to holding my mittens in my hands:
My first half marathon, 2 years ago.
Mile 8: 6:59 (just slightly long)
Mile 9: 7:11 (steep, short hill)
Mile 10: 6:59 (up a big hill)
I was happy with those miles! Mile 9 had a quick little uphill that hurt, and it didn’t affect my time TOO much. And mile 10 contained a BIG hill (River Road to Cretin on Marshall), so I was REAL happy to see that be 6:59.
At that point, I let up a little. There weren't many more hills, so mile 11 was actually faster: 6:48. For the last mile, I eased up a lot and used that mile as a cool-down, so that mile was 7:26.
Being it was such a nice day, there was no “frozen face photo” when I got done, but I still snapped one anyway. The resulting photo showed me something that I haven’t seen in a photo before: I have girlishly long eyelashes that constantly brush up against my glasses:
Overall, my time was 1:27:42 (7:18.5 / mile). The middle 6 miles (the “tempo” part of this run) were 7:08.3 / mile. My feet got sore over the last 2.5 miles from running on uneven residential sidewalks, but no new blisters!
I don’t know what Saturday’s half marathon will hold, but I did NOT think I could run that 12 miler that fast! I WAS hoping to break 1:35 this weekend, but after that 12 miler, I could maybe get close to 1:30. I dunno. I stated on my blog a while back that this is NOT an “A” race for me, so I’m going to do the best I can, but still have a ton of fun. I might even run with my camera and snap some photos!
Anyway, thanks for reading everyone! Have a great week!