Monday, April 23, 2012

Solo long run.

You know what I learned yesterday? Two things: First, that I'm a lousy running-route planner. Lousy. Second, and much better, that I have a fairly good sense of my marathon goal pace.

About the route. I was looking to run between 14 and 16 miles by myself and I wanted to be able to run from my house, so I wouldn't have to drive anywhere. I spent a long time pondering my route, fiddling around with the gmaps hack and plotting and scrapping routes.

The one I settled on kinda rotted. It was hillier than I expected. There was way more traffic on one two-mile stretch than I was comfortable with. The worst part? I had to run past several growling, barking, mean-seeming dogs and each time I was frightened. I mean, really. When huge mean-looking dogs run up to the side of the street, barking and growling, it makes a runner scared.

Anyway, the route wasn't ideal but you know what? All of these hills are making me stronger. I know it. And the near heart-attacks from those dogs? Well, let's just hope there is some sort of benefit from that.

When I wasn't running from the dogs, I was trying to hold a steady 9:30 pace for the early miles and then I had hoped to drop down to my marathon goal pace for the middle miles. I planned to end the run at a 9:30 pace.

I wanted to run as much by feel as I could so I didn't look at my watch much. Checking my splits after the run, though, I was pleased. I started out the first mile at 9:43 and then settled in to a 9:15 pace for the next few miles. Then I picked it up. I wanted to run my marathon goal pace (8:35) for 5 miles. I came close.

Middle miles: 8:37 average pace for 5 miles.

Sure, I was off by a little but I was running by feel and the route was, if you remember, hilly. And windy. (Wah, wah, wah.) So, I'm pleased that I was as close as I was. Those 5 miles felt good and I felt that it was a pace I could run comfortably and for a long time (26.2 miles? We'll see!).

After running at pace, I finished up with some miles ranging between 8:40 and 9:30. Overall, I ran 14.5 miles at 9:05 pace.

Am I ready for the marathon? Gosh, I hope so.

I want 8:30 to feel easy. I want my legs to gravitate to that pace and stick to it on race day. I want to cross the finish line ahead of 3:45. I've been working to make those wants come true. I hope they do.

Two weeks until the marathon! 
What is your favorite thing to do while tapering? Clean? Sleep more? Worry about the weather? Let me know!

~ Felice


Zaneta said...

Sounds like you had an awesome run... besides those stupid dogs! I hate dogs! I'm so scared of them and I live out in the country so a lot of times there aren't any invisible fences to keep them in the yard and they come shooting across the road at me... I've started carrying doggy mace lol...
2 weeks! It's almost here! You're so ready for it!! :)

Kenley said...

For me, it's not really the big dogs that come out and bother me, it's always the little yappy ones that owners let walk around and bother people. I will be doing that too soon using gmaps and stuff to route out some courses. Any Advise? Looks like your later half bettered the first of sucky routing. Nice and awesome run. You will smash 3:45. I am excited for you!

Kate said...

This might be an encouraging tid-bit: I ran all of my long runs at the same pace as you (between 8:45-9:10 pace) and ran my first (and only) marathon in 3:35. That said, 3:45 is totally doable with your training!

Quix said...

I like to run the same routes over and over so I know where those barking dogs are!!! Sounds like a splendid run - enjoy the rest of your taper!

Falon said...

I'm a total weather freak during the taper. Guilty.

Dian Reid said...

I've only run half marathons, and just 2 at that, but so far I dig a little extra sleep time during the taper weeks :) Cheers!

Running Girl said...

I haven't done a marathon before, so no tapering experience. Yours is so close! Good luck. ;-)

Shannon said...

I haven't done anything except 5k races so far since I just started running in January with the Couch25k program. Sounds like you are rocking it out! :)


Molly said...

my house is especially clean while tapering!! And my showers are longer : )

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