Monday, October 13, 2014

Good Times, Bad Times, You Know I Had my Share

I thought of the title as it relates to my splits (coming later) and then it got stuck in my head, so now I pass the worm to you. You're welcome.

(Peg, you may have to google it)

Anyway, yesterday was my first (and last) 20-miler for this marathon cycle. To rewind a little, I was building up nicely and had a successful 19-miler five weeks ago. But then I was a little busy over scheduling my life...

4 weeks ago - Erie Pikermi

3 weeks ago - 21 miler aborted at 15.4

2 weeks ago - Grand Canyon

1 week ago - 10K race

So with nothing scheduled for this weekend I thought I'd better get that 20-miler in, what with the marathon only 3 weeks out...So I did my usual flat beach run and hoped I could run marathon pace for most of it. It looked to be another warm day, so I got up early and out the door at 6:45AM. I felt kind of silly topless out there with the sun just rising, and a little chilly, but I have come to love the freedom of running shirtless lately. I got over the shyness of being nearly naked last summer (coincidentally about the time that I lost the small tire around my waist), and it eliminates the nipple chafing possibilities and feels great! The only problem is all the sweat just rolls into my shorts and I am soaked through pretty early and just drip a lot. But anyway...

Last week wasn't great. I think the Grand Canyon excursion did a number on my quads and hips, and I may have compensated somehow because now I am getting some knee pain and the PF is starting to hurt again. Nothing major, but enough to be irritating and scare me. I did 7 Tuesday, 6 Wednesday and 8 Friday, and there were some good miles, and some worrisome sore knee moments in there. But Friday was mostly good, so I was optimistic for the 20, but a little nervous.

So I did my usual easy start, with the first 5 on wood chips as I warmed up and mile 6 over the hill to the beach where the rest would be flat along the beach.

I love the new Garmin Connect elevation and pace graphs. You can see my "warmup" 6 miles, the hill, and then where the "time-trial" begins at sea level.

First mile I'm trotting along feeling good. Knee seems to be behaving. It is overcast with the marine layer rolling in from the ocean. I am hopeful it will stay cloudy for the three hours I need and I can avoid the heat of the sun. I think about Roger and Shanda who are already an hour into their marathons in Long Beach about 15 miles away. It was good to have a Loop lunch with them and Atom Buddy and JB and IMBBananas yesterday. 9:09

Mile 2 I come across some street closures. Oh yes, the Hermosa triathlon is today! This is a Sprint tri I have done three times. I hop off the chips and run in the closed street. No bikes are here yet, but before I get off the course, the lead biker shows up with police escort. I will be coming back through here at the end and I try to calculate if the race will still be going on. Perhaps. Race mojo kicks up my pace. 8:38

I seem to be feeling pretty good and pace is about what it is on a good day on the trail. I tried to tell myself to stay at 8:20 today as a trial for the marathon, since I would love to go out slow and see if it would work better than my usual bank and bonk strategy. But I seem to be incapable of keeping my pace down. Miles 3-5 are 8:28, 8:21 and 8:05. On the wood chips. Mile 6 up the hill still is 8:24. All this points to the pace being under 8 once I get to the flat bike path...

Sure enough. Miles 7-14: 7:59, 8:01, 7:52, 7:51, 7:48, 7:49, 7:50, 7:56

I'm just more comfortable working a little bit. Plus there was this guy 200 yards ahead of me at the same pace, and having that hare out there makes it easy to go faster than maybe you should...Eventually I let him go when I stopped for water. Still the 7:50's surprised me. Gotta be the Hokas.

The sun was staying hidden, and I felt good, so I started to think maybe I could hold this sub-8 the whole way!

Not so fast. About mile 15 I started to feel tired. 8:06. And the rest of the way I went through the five stages of grief.

Mile 16: Denial - No, you're not pooping out, just a little fatigue. This 2nd GU and a short break will rejuvenate you! 8:09

Mile 17: Anger - Oh crap. Totally falling apart now. Ugh. Why do I go out too fast?! Idiot! 8:28

Mile 18: Bargaining - Can I walk yet? Just keep going and you can stop for water every 1.5 miles - even though it's not that hot out. You can do it! 8:09

Mile 19: Depression - This marathon is going to hurt like hell. Why do I do this to myself. Ugh, I suck. 8:30

Mile 20: Acceptance - Hey, you made it! Sure the pace sucks, but not that bad, huh? 8:40

Ended up with 20.4 miles at 8:14 pace, with the last 14 at 8:05. Definitely a good day! Looks like NYC will be a bank and bonk day, but I can live with that. By the way, in mile 19 I came through the end of the triathlon and got to see the last runner approaching the finish line. So I saw two triathletes, the first and the last, and a whole triathlon took place while I was running.

A little more work this week, and then looking forward to a taper.

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