|Group photo by our track club president. You won't find me because I am deliberately hiding behind a man with a goatee.|
Distance: 14 miles
Weather: 58 degrees, cloudy, 98% humidity
Clothing: Pearl Izumi 2" shorts, short sleeved tech tee
Pace: 8:53 (GAP 8:47)
Splits: 9:12, 8:33, 8:19, 8:39, 8:27, 8:24, 8:46, 8:42, 8:53, 8:41, 9:43, 9:25, 9:13, 9:29
Terrain: 453 feet of climbing, hilly for miles 1-3 and 11-14
Heart Rate: 167 average
Suffer Score: 200
Water Stops: four, at miles 3, 6, 9, and 12
Day Prior: rest
Fuel: dinner of Field Roast, Bulgar wheat in miso, roasted carrots and onions, hot cocoa. Pre-run meal of half a protein bar and one caffeinated gel. Gatorade at miles 6 and 9.
Muscular Strength: 3
Cardiovascular Fitness: 6
Mental Toughness: 5
This is officially the fourth week of Mercedes Marathon training with the Birmingham Track Club. Until now, the weekly Saturday long runs have been shorter than 14 miles. I've generally been running at least 10 miles at each Saturday run since June, so I feel like I have a good base and I haven't missed anything.
This run came seven days after the Magnolia Half Marathon (recap is almost done), so I was still dealing with heavy legs and glycogen shortage. I was also on day four of a nasty upper respiratory infection that has made my whole family sick. I decided to show up for "time on my feet" and see how I felt. Saturday runs are a big part of my social life and I dislike missing them. This run was incredibly painful, but I'm glad I did it.
I normally run with a big group of people who aim for an 8:30-9:00 pace, but a lot of people were out of town this week. I ended up with just David and Chris, and we ran a similar pace to another group that kept taking wrong turns and then catching us again.
The first mile had a lot of climbing, and we were in the dark, so I just zoned out and did the work. I warmed up quickly, and miles 2-6 were very consistent and comfortable. By the second water stop, I was feeling very low on fuel, so I had about 5 oz of Gatorade and told David and Chris to drop me if they had to. They refused, and Chris kept circling back to pull me in. I am grateful to him for that...we trained for last year's marathon together, when I was a pacer, so I have done the same for him many times.
I had started struggling at mile 8, but I really slowed down when we started a long, gradual hill at mile 11. The 8:45 group caught us, I got dropped, and I caught everyone again at the last water stop. David and Chris pulled me in, and once we were back at Trak Shak I did a few city blocks to get an even 14. Running a big positive split like this is something I never do, so I'm hoping for a better run next week. Afterward, I stretched, ate the other half of my protein bar with a sugary cafe au lait, and collected this week's shoe donations before heading home. I was sore for the rest of the day, but better when I woke up.