Sunday, August 15, 2010

An Unexpected Test

This week has not been the best of recovery weeks for me. My mileage is probably higher than it should be, but I find it hard to accomplish what I need to do with less mileage right now. And I'm in the last high mileage phase of marathon training so I figure now is not the time to start tapering or dialing it back too much. Also, it seems that ragweed has once again taken over and I am suffering the effects.

So, this morning I slept in way too late and didn't get out the door until almost 9am. By then it was +25C and very humid. I was not expecting much from the run, wanting just to run eighteen kilometres and be done with it. I decided to run to my Dad's place and back since I wanted to check up on it given that he's away on holidays. The distance to his house is pretty much exactly 9km from my place so that starts were aligned for this to happen.

As I set off things felt better than I'd anticipated and I was cruising along at a pace that I didn't think was possible. As I averaged somewhere in the 5:10/km range I began to wonder how long I could hold this effort and became curious to find out how my heart rate would be affected with the humidity being so high.

Well, I sure found out! I ran the 9km to my Dad's place and then took a short break to check things out, water plants, and grab a drink of water, and then I hit the streets again for the return journey home. My second 9km was faster than the first, but it was not very easy, that's for sure. In the end I managed the entire 18km run in 1:33:28 for an average pace of 5:11/km (8:21/mile). My average heart rate was 150bpm, but in the last half of the run it pretty much remained in the mid to high 150s and even got into the low 160s for a good while.

This was an unexpected test, and it remains to be seen if I passed.

The total mileage for the week ended up at 55km, a bit on the high side for a recovery week, but it puts me on track to hit my monthly mileage goal before September bring taper time.

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