Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Remarkably Unremarkable 20 miler

ORN: 20.5 miles, 3:19:32, 9:44/mile

Wow. I’m really kind of blown away. When I set out to run the
St. Louis Marathon, I knew I’d have to pack on the miles. I set the schedule in late December and I knew that March 18 would require a 20 mile run. It’s been out there all along. And, frankly, somewhat intimidating. I haven’t done this sort of distance since 1981. Was I kidding myself? I really wondered.

And March 18 finally arrived, coincidently, my oldest son
David's 28th birthday. I caught a break in the weather, as the day was sunny and the mid-day temperature was 50. So, out I went, comfortably in shorts, two layers of polyester and my cap (which is, alas, white not orange). What would happen??

Fascinatingly, nothing. The amazing thing about this run was that there was nothing amazing. One foot in front of the other. One mile after another. Just kept it going. I set my
Garmin Forerunner 201's virtual trainer feature again to keep my pace at 9:45, the pace I think I can carry through most of the marathon. And it worked, as the splits below show. I packed three Gu’s into my shorts and tugged one down every 5 miles.

Nothing ever hurt. No injuries. No twinges. No blisters. The right quad had nothing to say to me. I simply needed 3+ hours of free time to do it. It was awesome.

Feeling well, I did a couple of fun things. I usually am pretty fixed on my route ahead of time. But today, I just needed to pile on the miles. So I took a couple of scenic loops to add milage. The fun one was a longer loop through the Purdue University campus. I ran past the two dorms where my wife lived when we first met in 1972, then the awful little apartment I lived in from 1972-1974. Yeesh, the porch was sagging then, it still hasn’t been fixed. But a great location is a great location.

So, I have one more mid-week 10 miler to do this Wednesday, then the taper starts. I don’t think I mentioned here that the schedule calls for a 12 miler next Saturday. Shoot, that’s a lot like a half marathon, so I entered the
Sam Costa Half-Marathon in Indy. Way more fun to run with a group. I’m NOT going to race this one…it will simply be a dry run for the marathon and I’ll run it at a 9:45 pace. The objective will be to feel strong at the end, not to set a PR. I haven’t run a race since December; that one was a bust, I haven’t enjoyed a race since Thanksgiving Day. It’s time.

I’m still amazed. I’m typing this report six hours after running…the legs feel a bit tired but fine. So, we stay the course, keep on the plan. It could be fun.


9 37, 9 28, 9 35, 9 47, 9 54, Gu.
9 35, 9 42, 9 46, 9 41, 9 36, Gu.
9 58, 10 04, 9 44, 9 42, 10 07, Gu.
9 09, 9 51, 9 41, 9 48, 9 47, 4 50 (@ 9 30 pace), Home.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good Job! One foot in front of the other... That is the only way for us older runners to make it! Good luck on the half next weekend.