Sunday, September 12, 2010

Last of the Long-ish Runs, and Marathon Goal Setting

Two weeks left (well, less as I am typing this because by 6:10pm of two Sundays from now I plan to have already celebrated the end of my first marathon with frosty beverages and copious amounts of empty calories of the sweet but useless variety) until I try and run, stagger, stagger, crawl, stagger, roll, roll, stagger through my first marathon. And so today I ran my last long-ish type training run, and it was good.

Good to have run a distance that once seemed impossible.

Good to have run a distance that once seemed impossible and do it without bottles full of sugary drinks.

Good to have run a distance that once seemed impossible and treat like any other training run; a rather ho-hum pedestrian event.

Despite the fact that my groin is sore as heck from that one session of leg weights I managed last week (still can't get over how two weeks of vacation and out of the weight room makes me feel like a weakling loser upon returning and leaves me hobbled like it was my first time after years of inactivity) I set off in the late morning and felt pretty good. I had golfed all day yesterday and, uhhmm, my "diet" was not all the "good". Didn't bother setting my alarm, woke up and watched the Djokovic-Federer match that I'd recorded the day before (dumbass Federer), and then loped around the house trying to find socks.

Once out the door I had a pretty good time of it. I ran my familiar route down to the Beaches and out along the boardwalk, but on the way back I decided to run the section of the marathon course that goes down to Cherry Beach along Commissioners. It was good to have checked out this part as I noticed that at the roundabout at the end of Cherry Street there was a massive puddle left over from the rain that fell last night. If marathon day is wet I will have to remember to take an inside line around the circle of be forced to run through a foot of water.

After this I ran back along Commissioners to the Don Roadway and hit the Don Valley trails back home. I walked up Pottery Road to save the right heal (still an issue, but I'm conveniently ignoring it while running, icing it while resting). At the top of the hill I started up again and ran the rest of the way home to complete a good 24km in 2:09:22 of total running (ie. not counting the walking). That amounts to a pace of 5:23/km (8:40/mile) and would put me on track for about a 3:46-ish marathon.

Looking forward I think that running somewhere around 3:45 is a totally achievable goal, and so here are my first impression goals for the race:

  1. Shitty Day: >4hrs (5:42/km, 9:10/mile)
  2. Decent but somewhat crappy day: sneak under 4hrs (ditto)
  3. Realistic Day: 3hr45min (5:20/km, 8:36/mile)
  4. Optimistic Day: 3:38:25 (5:11/km, 8:21/mile) (that's exactly one second faster than my Around the Bay 30k of 2009 where I ran on one good hip)
  5. Dreamy and Sparkly Day Where Even I Question If I Was Doping: under 3hr30min (4:59/km, 8:01/mile)
So, two weeks of low mileage and intensity that will likely drive me nuts and leave me somewhat under-confident with my training. Reminder to self: verify the mileage completed during this training cycle to calm jangled nerves and (hopefully) bolster fragile belief in ability to run the whole distance.

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Blogger Andrew is getting fit said...

I reckon you should add in a crack at the world record. You just never know. :)

September 12, 2010 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Ace said...

Awesomeness. Its such an accomplishment just to make it through the training cycle. Well done! I think #5 is totally happening.

September 14, 2010 at 5:16 PM  

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