Wrapping up week 3. Building off a good day at the track, I wanted to continue to build on my fitness. Thursday was a strong day of cross training with Rebecca as we continued to inch the number of meters up by another 200. We have no interest in swimming 4500 meters, but 2500 – 3200 meters is good and provides the off day fitness that is important for our marathon conditioning. The day kept me busy, but my mind was really set on the next run, 17 miles. It seems once you get past 15 miles, you know you have serious work ahead.
Knowing the run was going to be a challenge, I made certain my body would be well rested. I put back-to-back nights of 7 plus hours of sleep. Though Jay was out for the week, I was happy to have Corey, Hokan and Calvin all join me for the first 10 miles of the 17 mile run. The pacing was a bit up and down and I know it was not my smartest run, but I enjoyed the company and did not mind that we goofed around with one another.
With 10 down and everyone off to stretch I was on my own. Part of me was missing the group, the miles just fly by, but a part of me was looking forward to the 7 solo miles. Not because I knew it would be easy, but because I knew it was going to be hard, physically and mentally and I needed to steel my mind to the pain and to the demons that creep in and tell you it is okay to stop. Not today.
I did give myself a small advantage, knowing I would be alone I wanted to run somewhere I could measure my pace, a weak link in my running make up, yep, and I know it. To that point I chose the Greenway, a simple downhill mile to the Greenway 2.5 out and back. The Greenway provides half-mile markers, and it is easy for me to keep my pace. The other advantage, it is flat and fast. On my run down, I cruised, leaning forward I let gravity take control my legs just rolled down the hill. Hitting the entrance of the Greenway, I felt rested, time to lock it in pace, focus on stride and keep my body relaxed. A quick mental check and everything seemed loose. I was looking forward to my next Gatorade stop, when I thought, hmmm, “I’m hungry”. The Gatorade will help, the miles are ticking by I have no gels, and I made a note to make certain I had fuel on the 20 mile run next week.
A quick glance and I can see that my pace is fast, certainly not a good way to run, but I am thinking about the last mile, a climb back to the gym and a cushion would be nice. Though I am fast, my pace is consistent and I take that as a positive during the last 6 miles. I finish on the hill weaker than I would like but I finish. I know next week I will need to feed better.
Running into Corey, I try with no success to do some math to see how I finished. I expected to be close or just a little over. I eventually quit trying to do the math, I am exhausted mentally and physically.
Later as I am working I see an email from Corey 8:12. Too fast. We talk about looking at adjusting my target time for Chicago… is that really what I am looking for? I like the idea, but decide to give it further consideration over the weekend.
Could I do it… I don’t know. Am I ready for the commitment that would be required, the reality is I am over committed already, something to consider.