Sunday, March 26, 2006

Training Log Entry #28: Take that, rewind it back!

40's not so bad after all, at least so far. Recall how four or so weeks ago I was bemoaning my lack of conditioning? Well today I set a goal of running a 20 mile loop, the last few miles of which were pretty hilly. I figured it would be a good route for Boston prep because the Newton hills start in earnest around mile 17. The fact of the matter is everything that has gone on prior to today is of no consequence. Today would tell me if I'm ready for Boston (3 weeks from tomorrow). The long and short of it is that I finished in 2:16:27. That's actually the time for 19.63 miles, the top of the final climb. I typically walk in from there to cool down. My average pace for the run was 6:57, a pace that would yield a 3:02:07 marathon. I also crushed previous benchmarks on the majority of the run that is used for the 18 mile loop. In fact, my time on the 18 mile loop (the timer is stopped at 17.7 and I walk in the last .2 to cool down) would have also been a personal best by a couple of minutes (2:02 - 2:03).

This is sweet. I've got my best speed ever. I should be able to nail a 3:05 at Boston, with an all-time marathon PR (3:04:03) a distinct possibility. Why am I not shooting for the sub-3 you ask? I'm not there yet. The wheels were falling off at 20 miles (though I do feel really good right now, 2.5 hours later). I want the 3:05 for the guaranteed entry into New York, and then I'll push for the sub 3 at New York. It's still early in the year. My fastest marathon will be in the fall. I don't want to get crazy and run a stupid race in Boston.

So why the uptick in speed:
1) Effort (I wanted it today)
2) Rest (I had an easy week last week)
3) Better hydration/fueling (I had Leanna meet me out on the course and bring a second set of bottles for my Fuelbelt onto the course, effectively doubling my fluid intake)

The weather for the run was partly cloudy, breezy, and in the 40s.

Here's the route (this site, based on Google Maps, is pretty cool):

The numbers:

20 miles

Terrain: Asphalt/Concrete

YTD Mileage: 244.35
MTG (Miles to Goal): 955.65
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.73

Net weightloss on the run: 1.5 pounds (I told you I drank more)

FYI: The 18 mile loop is here: