Sunday, December 30, 2007

22.45 miles

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Today my training schedule called for a 23 mile run. I knew that I was ill-prepared because of the holidays. Also, I've been a bit achy on my runs since the 20 miler three weeks ago. So I decided I would walk most of this one.

My plan was to run a quarter mile or so at each mile. Then, for the last five or six miles, I would try to do the 3 minutes running : 1 minute walking ratio I've done for most of my training build up. I figured that would give me a sense of what it'll feel like at the marathon, when I'm fatigued and trying to keep going. Besides, Jeff Galloway, creator of my training program, claims that walking is pretty much just as good training as running.

Still, it didn't quite work out the way I planned. At about mile 15 I decided to try alternating each quarter mile with running and walking because at that point I felt too sore to go with Plan A. With the exception of two half-mile walk breaks, I managed to keep that up until about mile 21, at which point I felt intense pain in my left quad. This pain had been increasing with each running interval, and now it was sharp enough that I knew I'd be an idiot to try again (though I did try again, twice, for about 3 seconds each time). So I walked the last mile and a half.

The journey took a total of 5 hours and 32 minutes. For the most part it was fun. We're having lovely weather here today; brightly sunny and 37 degrees. And my route included just about all of the KC half marathon route, which shows off a lot of the best sights our city has to offer. Freed from the need to hear my stopwatch alarm because I wasn't writing intervals, I listened to a book on tape -- Master of the Senate, which I've listened to before, but is good enough for a second go.

Despite the pleasantness of being outdoors on such a nice day, the pain I felt at the end (and which I still feel as I waddle around the house) has me pretty discouraged. I wouldn't be so disappointed if I'd been running most of the way. But this was really just a long walk, and all I was trying to do was break it up with quarter-mile jogs (which, I should add, were run at a pretty darn slow pace). It would seem that I could do those pretty easily even under the worst conditions.

So I'm wondering now how things will be in three weeks when I'm in Carlsbad. I'm starting to reassess my strategy. Perhaps it would be best if I'd go into the event with a plan kind of like today, though no matter what I'll need to run more because I have to maintain a 12:30 pace.

Interesting process. Not as easy as I thought it would be...

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