Sunday, June 20, 2010

at peace with 12's

Last night I couldn't sleep... I was so stressed out... My running coach had 12 miles on the calendar for my long run and I knew I just wasn't ready for that distance yet; especially because of this plantar fasciitis reoccurance. But what should I run instead? I didn't want to wake my coach in the middle of the night or too early this morning, so I picked up my Hal Higdon book Marathon, the Ultimate Training Guide. I looked through his schedules. Hal's "novice" schedule would have me at 6 or 8 miles (novice 1 or novice 2), Intermediate would be 8 or 10 miles, and Advanced would be 10 miles {if I combined weeks 16-17 to cut it down from a 3-week to a 2-week taper, which I prefer}. The Intermediate 1 plan looked like the best fit for me, so I decided on 8 miles.

And it was AWESOME, even at 82 degrees!!! My plantar fasciitis was hurting when I woke up, but it calmed down before I ran. I got up with the dogs at 6:45 a.m. (Tasha is pictured here in a blur.) Had a glass of chocolate milk, piece of cheese toast, and later a coke. Filled a bottle with a can of coconut water, whatever amount of tart cherry juice that was left in the jar (about 8 oz), and topped it off with water. Set my "virtual partner" on my Garmin 405 for a 12:45 minutes/mile pace and went for an easy long run. I set it for this pace because last night I was reading Hal Higdon's training advice and he said long runs should be 45 - 90 seconds slower than your planned marathon pace. I'd like to run the Chicago marathon in less than 5 hours, which would be a sub 11:27 pace, so this long run should be between a 12:13 and 12:57 average pace. Yay; I can run in the 12's and not feel guilty! I ran the 2-mile neighborhood route four times. I started easy, walked up the steep hills, and didn't stress over the lap or instantaneous pace. I kept my eye on the overall average pace. Then on the last two miles I set a target of 12:27 average pace, which I slightly exceeded. My fastest mile was the last one, which I NEVER am able to do on long runs. I felt AWESOME! Letting go of the "must run under 12 minute pace" goal and actually telling myself that I needed to run that slow, did wonders for how I felt about this long run. I'd rather finish strong and happy than deflated and having to walk more towards the end because I set an unrealistic goal to start out with.

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