Saturday, January 28, 2006

A Fascinating Surprise, A Goal Achieved

ORN: 13.3 miles, 2:00:19, 9:03/mile

First off, many good wishes to
David of Adventures in the Thin Trade as he runs the ING Miami Marathon tomorrow…I look forward to the report!

My run today was one of the most fascinating I’ve had in a long time. I hope I can capture it here.

The schedule called for 13 miles. The weather was amazing, as it was 51 and warming at 11am. I popped on my
favorite Long Sleeve T-Shirt and headed out the door. I intended to run at or a little quicker than my planned 9:50 pace I’m shooting for in the marathon.

And during the first two miles, I was astounded at how difficult it was to not run around 9:00. So, feeling good, I decided to see just how long I could keep the pace.

The pace stayed. Check these splits:

9 08
9 00
9 16
9 16
9 00
8 55
8 54
9 09
9 06
9 02
9 01
9 08
8 45

Which is only significant in light of my
2006 Goals: run a full marathon and do a half marathon under 2 hours.

The second goal has been a bigger concern to me than the first. A 2 hour half requires 9:09 miles. So, as I saw mile after mile at or below that level tick off, I got more and more fascinated to see just how long I could carry the pace. Could I do a half, by myself, under two??

It happened. I think. I say “I think” because I’m not certain my
Garmin Forerunner 201 is perfectly accurate. In earlier half marathons measure to TAC standards, my Garmin has called the distance 13.3 miles, not 13.1. Anyway, my time at 13.1 miles was 1:58:30. I stopped the watch at 13.3 miles, a time of 2:00:19.

Now, this does not achieve my goal…I still have to do this in a race. But to have it happen by myself, without race conditions, without the wonderful energy of a race, with no planning, is very encouraging to me. Actually, I’m thrilled beyond words. I wasn’t sure I could get there at all and here it is, January 28, and it looks like I have a real shot.

I’m astounded at how easy it was. I simply got in a groove by mile 4 and kept it going. I paid attention to my form, especially to keep my shoulders relaxed and low, my head up and looking ahead. I walked through 5 water stops at the usual places where I had stashed Gatorade. I had one Gu packet at mile 6. My stomach actually felt lousy through much of the run. And still the legs and lungs all held together and I’ve felt fine the rest of the day.

So, thanks for listening. It was a marvelous day in late January. The focus remains 26.2 on April 9. And what an encouraging step along the way.

Persevere. I will too.

1 comment:

Running Chick said...

congrats!! that's awesome! no doubt that you will easily be able to duplicate that in a race!!

and...your comment in your other post about the 'horse returning to the barn'? i totally do that too...can't help but pick up the pace a little as home grows closer.