Saturday I ran my first long run of this marathon training cycle (which will be just that this time, no "marathons as long runs" and such crap this time) and the longest run since the Boston Marathon in April! Insane! What a long break!
My loose plan called for 16 miles, last 20 minutes hard, whatever that means. The last 20 minutes of all long runs are hard, right? We were actually in Bay St Louis, Mississippi this weekend for a visit with our godchildren, so I had an entirely new place to run. The only problem was that I forgot my Garmin! Luckily, I was able to borrow my husband's GPS so I could gauge distance.
|Bay St. Louis bridge. Top Right: bridge after Katrina. Top left shows wide running/biking path.|
I decided to break the run up into segments that would allow me to pass the house for water. I don't like carrying a water bottle, and Audubon Park's public fountains have me spoiled. I ran a 4-mile route over the tall Bay Bridge onto the beach in Pass Christian, then turned around to make an 8-mile loop that landed me back at the house. The bridge has several raised sections that gave me some rare hill running, and the area on the beach is always beautiful but very windy. At the house I grabbed some water and half a gel. I wouldn't normally have gel for a 16-mile run, but it had been so long since I'd run this sort of distance that I wanted to play it safe. I ran back on the bridge for a 5-mile loop, then grabbed another sip of water and the rest of my gel and headed to the road along the bay for a fast final three miles. I figured 20 minutes was close enough to 3 miles for my purposes, and I gave myself a break from the inclines of the bridge and most of the wind by running along the bay. It was still very windy, but it was tail and headwind instead of relentless side wind, so it seemed easier. I ran a 6:41, 6:51, and 6:49 (guess which way was the tailwind?!) and wrapped up with a 7:22 average pace. I liked that, but even better, limiting my water stops meant I ran for 1:58 but I was only out of the house for about 2:02. Sometimes I get a little water-stop crazy and waste tons of time.
That run, plus an 8-miler on Sunday, put me at 61 miles to wrap up week one of training. Couple of thoughts on that:
1. I skipped a day and I still hit 61 miles. Who wrote this plan, Caballo Blanco?!
2. I think I'll start thinking of my weeks as Monday to Monday to match Dailymile, my running tracker, instead of Saturday to Saturday like my plan is written.
3. I feel fantastic minus injury pain and weird calf soreness. The calf pain I'm attributing to running further in flatter shoes than I'm used to. My plan for this cycle is to get my miles up there and keep them there - it seems like the injury is bothered more by inconsistency than regular high miles.
4. I might end up cheating on this plan. I realized it has no rest days. What the heck! When am I supposed to sleep in? I skipped Thursday last week and it felt lovely.
Thoughts? Should I build in a rest day?