Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ramping up

Even though July is still half-marathon training, on August 1st I switch over to marathon training. Since my next marathon is at the end of September, clearly I need to keep myself at a level where six weeks or so of high mileage will enough to be marathon-ready. Please stop shaking your heads doubtfully.

I had originally put 15 miles on this weekend and 16 next, but since I signed up for a couple of races next Saturday (more about that foolhardiness to come in the next few days), I don't think another long run over that weekend is a likely proposition. So I changed today's plan to 16 miles. Or so.

I had mapped out two or three potential routes, but ended up using none of those. I kept changing my mind in order to avoid routes I found unappealing. (How come there are so many of those, hmm?)

I started out 20-25 minutes later than I intended, but that didn't matter TOO much. It did make me later than I planned meeting my mother at the end, but I kept her updated by text, so it worked out okay. Pretty much.

The weather was pretty much perfect, in the 50's and lightly overcast. Probably a disappointment for people planning a summer weekend, but the sun came out by noon, and it's really nice this afternoon. Something for everyone.

I seriously don't know how you people manage who live in hot and humid climates. I am sure I would not be a runner if I lived in one of those places. I have so much respect for runners who manage (and run faster than me!) under such hellish conditions. (Some people may think hell has a dry heat, but I bet it's not the heat, it's the humidity.)

So anyhow, I took off around 8:20, passing by the church just as my parents were arriving (so I heard) and starting off with a 3/4 loop around Jennings Park before heading towards Everett. That way I got four miles under my belt before tackling the highway. It's the "old highway," not the freeway, but I don't really like running on the shoulder with the cars zooming by. It's a big shoulder, though, and the bridges (there are several) do have pedestrian walkways.

About three miles later I was in Everett (I hit the seven mile mark about the time I passed the Riverside sign--Riverside is also the area I live in, though at the opposite end, a few miles away.)

I followed Marine View Drive south around Riverside, an area I've run many times. Sometime in there I managed to bring my pace under 10 minute miles (without exerting excessive effort) and soon my average overall pace was at 10 or below. I haven't looked at Garmin data, but I have the sense that a lot of my second half miles were at 9:30-9:45.

I passed QFC at ten miles, which led to the question of what to do with my last six miles. I had originally planned to run along the public footpath to Pigeon Creek, but that's another one of those routes that I have a slight distaste for. Maybe because I had a few negative experiences trying to find it in the first place.

Instead I decided to run south on Colby to 41st (a lot of gentle uphill), then cruise back down and keep going north till I ran into Marine View Drive on the other side. Then a nice downhill and along the waterfront to the Everett Public Market.

At my turnaround on 41st I was at 11.75 miles, so I began to wonder if I would have to go over 16 to get to the market. No way to shorten it now, though, at least without making it too short and causing the opposite problem.

Travelling north on Colby I passed several packs walkers, women (and an occasional man) training for the 3-Day Walk in September. I felt a little bad stopping for the bathroom at Starbucks, as that meant I'd have to pass them AGAIN, but fortunately they turned on Everett Avenues so our paths did not actually meet again.

13.1 split - 2:10. Only three miles to go. Or so.

The last three miles felt like more work. When I got past 16 and wasn't done yet I started running to landmarks. Finally my destination was in sight (17 miles and not quite done yet). I picked a finish line--a banner advertising Lombardi's brunch or happy hour or something. But wait! It's one of those false finish lines! The real finish is that banner at the other end of the block! I "sprinted" to the new finish and I was done at 2 hours 50 minutes. (I think that was the time.) Average pace 9:50. (I think that was the pace.)

I was half an hour later than planned meeting my mom, which was actually right on track considering I started 20-25 minutes later than planned and ran 1.36 miles extra.

I met up with my mom and dad in the parking lot and zipped in to the Farmer's Market for a few minutes! So much great stuff! I limited myself to some little beets for roasting, multi-colored carrots (may also roast), and some tiny fingerling potatoes. All of this is a bit ironic considering as I was thinking of doing a few days low carb this week! I ended up giving the potatoes to my parents. I do love them (baby fingerlings), but they can use them right away and I should maybe back away from the potatoes.

I also bought a few cookies from an artisan bakery. One I ate as recovery fuel, and I gave a few to my parents. The rest I saved for Rod and his folks. Well, there is one--chocolate with cocoa nibs--that has my name on it for a late night treat. After all, I ran 17.36 miles today!
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Lisa said...

Wow. Great job! Way to push through for 17+ miles. And your pace was nice, too.

Running in a hot climate? I start way earlier than 8 a.m. I have never trained for a fall marathon before, so this is going to get interesting. It is getting uncomfortably warm by 7. I already yearn for your weather.

Good luck on the training.

lifestudent said...

sounds like a great run - and in perfect temps. I'm guessing the best part was the farmers market after though. Gotta love a good farmers market ;)

Anonymous said...

Great job! I'm doing my 3rd half in October and am currently in training. I love being in training-it really focuses my schedule. I'm not sure I can devote enough time to train for a full marathon right now, but maybe in a few years when my daughter is older. For now I'm loving 13.1 and even got my mom to do one!