I tried something new today for my long run. I am not sure if I like the results or not but here is what happened:
I woke up very early this morning. 4:15AM It was very dark still outside, duh! After a quick breakfast or 2 packs of Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal, I got on my shoes and off I went. The shoes I wore are brand new. Just picked them up Thursday afternoon. Once again, I bought Nike Skylons. I like a light weight trainer shoe that will work well in a marathon as well. These shoes have a nice bright yellow streak along the bottom where the shoe heal connect to the rest of the shoe. Maybe it will help me be seen in the dark.
My plan was to run out as far as 2 hours at an easy pace and then go back home. It was beautiful out at 4:45AM in the dark. The stars were shining very brightly and at mile 3, I even saw a shooting star. Cool. I was running down a highway so there was little traffic which was good. By mile 5, I hit the trail of crushed limestone. This is what the Whistle Stop Marathon is like for 20 miles, at least so I read. By mile 7 I was at an average pace of 9:15, nice and easy though I have lots of miles still to go. It was starting to get light out but no sun yet and I kept going a little faster.
I finally reach the 2 hour point and the Garmin said 13.1 miles, a complete half marathon. Average pace was 9:08. So far so good but there is a major problem now. If I am to run all the way back home, I will run a full marathon in distance. I had aspirations of doing this run in under 4 hours but after a few miles, I reminded myself that this is only a training run and I need to be out here for a long time. Just after 13.2 miles, the sun finally peeked out and not long after that, I saw my first people as they were walking their dogs.
By 17 miles, my thoughts fully changed as my legs go tired and I still have 9 miles to go. I ended up doing a long walk, maybe 1 to 1 1/2 minutes then started running slowly. This helped for awhile.
I hit 20 miles at about 3:05 or so and kept a nice easy pace as my legs were pretty tired and all I wanted to do now was get home in one piece. My miles didn't get much slower anymore but I did take walks ever 2 miles until the last 3 and then it was every mile. I hit my driveway right at 4:13:15, 13 minutes slower on the way back than out. The total distance according to the Garmin, 26.29 miles, just over a full marathon. Awesome!
I don't recommend everyone do a full marathon in distance before a real marathon race. I have read some plans that call for even longer runs but I think it depends on who you are and how you can react to it. How do I react to it? We will find out in a few weeks.
Let the Taper Begin.
The Whistle Stop Marathon is in only 3 weeks. I amt not yet signed up for it, maybe I should think about doing that. I also do not have gotten a reservation for a hotel. Another thing I should do. So far Paul plans on going up with me. He is climbing Mt. Rainier right now. Chaz and Mike are thinking of coming up and running the half marathon. Chaz will be running the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee 6 days before so he will be tired if he comes. Mike is still recovering from his knee problems but could maybe race a good half. He is not ready for a full yet. I tried to convince Greg to come up, but no luck.