My plan today was to run 4 hours and hopefully around 20 miles. It would be the first time running with the Nathan vest and actually my very first time using a mouth piece for my fluid intake.
This was an important training run for me as I only have a little over a month before the 50K and I need to get in a couple quality long runs, also I need to run alone to concentrate on my own pace and stradegy. I figured today's performance will tell me right where I am as far as condition goes. If I can't finish this 4 hour run then I am in serious trouble for the 50K.
The only time I have run longer than 3.25 hours was my marathon race in 2006. I ran 4:01:32 the so my hope was to at least beat that time today. I felt very prepared and had a battle plan that should allow me to accomplish the task.
I decided to keep my heart rate between 130 and 140 for the first 2 hours. That equates to about 70- 73% of max. Then kick it up 10 or so for the next hour. After that whatever I could muster and still finish.
The first 2 hours went pretty good. The conditions at Pineland were better than I expected with fairly dry trails and minimal mud. There were a few gooey spots but nothing really wet. I found that the 130-140 Heart rate was fairly easy though on some of the hills I was reaching 140 even while walking.
I had gel packs, E-caps and perpetuem packed in my vest and a PB&J waiting for me in my truck to eat at the two hour mark. The vest was pretty comfortable right form the start but hearing the sloshing of the water seemed to bother me as I was running. Oh, I didn't really feel it but the noise was iritating.
I liked the capability to keep my mouth wet with the bite hose though after the fact I realized I did not have it open far enough and didn't drink quite enough during the run. I guess that is why one trains in the first place right? Don't want to make these kind of mistakes during the race.
After 2 hours, I felt pretty good though I wasn't that hungry only ate half the sandwich.....it sure tasted good! The whole morning threatened of rain (it never did)and I wore my hat the whole time. I usually don't like wearing a hat but noticed it did a good job keeping the sweat from running down into my eyes. I am thinking of getting a real lightweight one for the race.
In the third hour I kicked up the pace and ran between 140 and 150 heart rate (80-83%), this felt much better on the legs and I settled in quite well. The faster pace did concern me a bit and I hoped it wasn't a mistake in the long run. The last thing I wanted to do was peeter out before finishing.
Now I started seeing some activity and passed a few other runners. I was quite glad that I had the Nike with me as the tunes kept me from getting bored, thinking about the run and how much further I had to go.
I passed the 25k mark just shy of the three hour mark. This was about 11 minutes slower than my 25k last year but for a training run and the fact that I had another hour to go, I felt I was doing quite well.
The faster pace was definately draining my energy more and the body felt it. Knowing I had already finished three hours and only had one left helped a lot. I had no plan for pace in the fourth hour as I figured my condition at that time would control the pace.
As it turns out, the third hour pace was still working for me and I continued that in the fourth hour. I could feel a lot more fatigue though and it seemed I looked forward to the walking at times. Mile 17 and 18 were the toughest points of the run. It seemed like the four hour mark was so far away.
Mile 19 I perked up a bit. I knew I was in the last two miles and suddenly it did seem reachable. I picked up the pace and stayed pretty much in the 150-155 range for that mile. In the last mile I could smell the end and it felt great. Though I could feel slight cramping in the quads, some pain in the ankles and slight twinges in the hamstrings, I was able to pick up the pace and run my third fastest mile of the 20.
I ate the other half of my sandwich when I finished and I must say it was very enjoyable. The taste buds were so excited! I actually felt quite good at the end and could have banged out a couple more miles if I really needed to.
I was fairly satisfied with my energy level and fueling for this run. It will work as a good template for the 50K. I am not sure I would change much other than perhaps consuming a little more water.
You can see my splits checking out the running ahead icon on the right of this page. Click on the 20 mile run.
20 trail miles @ 4:04:25
12:14 average pace
139 average Heart rate, 158 max
Not extremely technical but constant rolling hills.
1 cup of coffee (before the start)
3 gels pacs
2 e caps and antifatigue per hour
2 flasks (5 oz each) perpetuem
34 oz water.
I was suprisingly not too lame today though my body "knew" it ran a long run yesterday. My plan was to get in an easy run of a couple miles just to work the leg muscles a bit.
Well, schedules seem to never work out and mine seemed to be deteriating as far as running goes. I had many things to catch up on, I had loads of yard work and ended up baby sitting my daughters puggle in the afternoon.
I was itching to go out into the woods so when it came time to take the pup for a walk, I went to the pit near my house and figured a nice walk in the woods would be nice.
For the first 5 minutes or so the pup was pretty interested in sniffing around then suddenly he seemed to want to move at a much faster pace.....like his nose was on a mission. I figured what the heck and started jogging deside him.
We ended up jogging over 2 miles with only a few stops for his nose. Funny how things work out, I got my easy run in after all. The only thing was that I had on dugarees and a pollo shirt so I had to change out of the sweaty clothes when we returned home.
2 dog jogging miles
easy single track trail
Nice sunny warm day.......who could ask for more.