Sunday, August 22, 2010

Running freak of nature

It's funny to me that when it comes to my running I am in a constant state of feast or famine. Well, that's how I FEEL... whether it's accurate or not is another story. At the end of camp when Tommy & then Elliott got sick with a fever, it felt like WEEKS between my work outs, although the longest I went was probably 48 hours. The trouble was compounded by the fact that the work outs I did get in were pretty low mileage.

Then there's the last 6 days. Check this out:

Tuesday: 19 miles(-ish... the Garmin watch was being weird... 8:50-ish pace)
Wednesday: Off (But biked at least 10 miles in Provincetown with The Giessler)
Thursday: 4 miles (Fairly hungover... tired... dehydrated... managed an 8:43 pace anyway)
Friday: 6.5 miles (8:23 pace... ran my last mile in 7:36. Ridiculous!)
Saturday: 20 miles (8:58 average pace.... more details below)

ZOINKS! That's over 50 miles of running in five days! WHAT!?

The weirdest part... and the part that has me scratching my head and a little nervous... is that the last 20 miler felt so incredibly, amazingly GOOD! I took the first half pretty easy, reminding myself that I had run a hard and fast 6.5 the day before and had not really eaten or rested up for a really long run. Since the good feeling didn't fade I promised myself that after my final pit stop in Wolfeboro for peeing and water fill up, I could increase to marathon goal pace for the last five miles.

Mile 16 is always killer because there's an incredibly long, steep hill as you go out of town from Wolfeboro. I have no idea what my pace really was because my watch kept going in the bathroom... it comes out to 13:29, but my guess is it was more like a 10-something. After that hill I did mile 17 in 8:41, almost exactly what I need to do to qualify for Boston. At that point I was just grinning from ear to ear. Could not believe how fantastic I was feeling.... So, I let myself cut loose.

I ran mile 18 in 7:46, mile 19 in 7:50 and mile 20 in 7:39. Mind you, there are still plenty of hills in these miles (thankfully some down as well as up). I am flabbergasted by what my little engine was able to do yesterday.

Questions I am asking myself now are: Do I need to NOT take a rest day before long training runs? Do I need to NOT take the long, luxurious 3-week taper before the marathon? Do I need to just pound more miles in so I can feel even better?

Additionally, during the June marathon my right foot was really bothering me and I was cursing myself for not getting new shoes to break in during the last few weeks of training. Well, I STILL haven't gotten new shoes and my feet are (knock wood) fine. I didn't intend to be such a cheapskate but I guess I am. I don't think I'm dumb enough to train for and run TWO marathons on the same pair of shoes, but it does make me wonder if those barefoot running people have a very good point.

Needless to say, I'm thrilled with how that run went. I have confirmation on a free place to stay the night before the marathon that's just a few minutes from the starting line. I haven't registered yet because we need a paycheck or 2 before I can do that... but it's happening.

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