Did you read my post from Saturday? If you did, you will understand better why I am posting an "egg on a face" picture!
Over the weekend, I thought it was a good time to share my doubts about being able to run 19.5K / 12 miles. This has been in the back of my mind already since last week when I first attempted 19.5K and it's continued to be in my thoughts all week. When I shortened my run on Thursday down to an 8K from my scheduled 13K, I was pretty much convinced that I had hit a training wall.
Hence my blog posting Saturday ...
I went to bed Friday night with the intention of waking early early early with Ben so I could try my best to run 17-18K in the early morning heat and humidity (rather than dealing with the intensity of the heat and humidity later in the day). Ben awoke to his alarm at 3:30 a.m. so he could drive two hours south to meet his friends for muskie fishing on Lake Erie ... and I rolled over and went back to sleep!
I slept in until 7:00 a.m. (this is late for me). When I woke up and saw the time, I knew that I was really hooped in regard to my run. By the time I had coffee and something to eat, my run was going to be much later than intended, thus setting myself up for yet another miserable run in the humidity and heat. :(
This picture says it all! :(
I drank my coffee, ate a hard boiled egg and a banana (trying something new as a pre-run meal), got dressed for my LSD run, and less than an hour after eating, decided "W" - whatever! - and headed out with William Wallace.
And wouldn't you know it ... just before we had finished running the first 2K, the sky suddenly opened up and poured ... just like that. It was like having a personal rain cloud above me, literally dumping all of its contents. I was soaked! Strangely enough, it was my body only and not my shoes that were affected by this soaker so it wasn't an issue to keep on running.
As I continued, I realized how nice it was outside. In direct contrast to last week's run, the sudden downpour had not made the air more muggy. Instead, the air was remarkably fresh with a cooler breeze off the river. Because it was so cloudy, I didn't have to use my sunglasses nor did I feel the hot sun's rays beating mercilessly down on me. This small, weather interval was a miracle! :) And it's the reason why I was able to run my full LSD today. :)
I found a slow, steady pace early in my run. I could feel that it was just right for me. For the majority of my run, until I was into my 16th km, my average pace held at 7:20/km (11:48/mile) - it never wavered on my Garmin (rather than "actual" pace, I had the display window set for "average" pace. I wish that this was faster, especially since I was crossing into the sub-7 zone earlier in the year when training for my sub-30 5K race. However, I know that I couldn't go faster if I wanted to go the distance. This was my comfortable training pace for LSDs so I stuck with it.
I intended to run 17K. It was when I ran more than 10K that I started to dream about 20K..
And the closer I got to 16K, the more I started to believe. The weather was in my favour and I didn't want to blow my golden opportunity!
Just before finishing my 16th km, I started to feel sluggish. This is when I saw the slight change in my average pace for the first time - 7:21/km. I knew that the longer I ran, the slower I would become so I set another goal for myself - don't let my average pace slow past the 7:30/km point.
After keeping steady for so long, I reached the bottom of a small by 19.5K. Usually this hill is not an issue but after running for so long, I gave myself permission to walk up it, and then sluggishly ran the last 0.5K toward home. I wanted to end it on a nice even km number. :) It was with tired joy that I saw my Garmin pronounce 20 km. :)
Looking back on that Saturday post, I wasn't completely wrong. If I didn't have this weather window - this break from our sizzling summer heat - I doubt I could have run this distance. I really lucked out! :) And I am still sticking to my plan to postpone my scheduled LSD until the following week because I need a recovery week. I really like my 17-week training program; I plan to use it again after this round. However, I will likely tweak it by turning it into a "22 week" plan (or something like that) instead. I think I need to incorporate recovery weeks into it because I am finding it just a little too much at my current weight, level of fitness, and running ability.
Happy Civic Monday, everyone. :)