This past weekend held the first of five 20+ mile runs for my FIRST training program. However, a late night watching Star Farm (an awesome 80s band) made my plans for a morning run unrealistic. So, like last week, I had an unwelcome guest sitting around all day Saturday. Worse, this guest was of the 20M variety—the worst kind of unwelcome guest.
The temps on Saturday were in the low 60s and it was overcast all day. So when I stepped out at 7pm I wasn’t facing the same kind of grueling weather I did for my 17Mer last week. To date, my training has gone like this. Speed workouts are all hot nasty fails. Tempo runs are right on target. Long runs have been going well ahead of schedule. The only problem with my long runs is that I want to run them as close to marathon pace as possible. So, yeah, I’ve been ignoring my marathon pace plus 45 seconds instructions. Thus, while my long runs have all been well under the FIRST requirements, they have all fallen short of my expectations.
I’m able to endure these failures because I know that the first month of training is designed to build your strength and fitness, and that the times should come easier down the road. Now, if I could only stop staring at the red fail lines in my training log.
But that ended on Saturday. As I started I felt good, aiming to keep a consistent pace. And with the exception of three miles, I was always at my goal pace or under. My splits: 6:55, 6:56, 6:58, 7:09, 7:07, 7:20, 7:07, 7:02, 7:02, 7:07, 7:15, 7:21, 7:03, 7:11, 7:10, 7:15, 7:06, 7:11, 7:29, 7:12. A 7:09/M average.
What I’m most pleased with is my last five miles. Usually I start dropping 7:20s or worse from mile 16 on. This past run I managed to keep everything consistent except for mile 19.
As the first of five 20+ mile long runs, I couldn’t be happier.
Sunday morning I joined Sun Runner for a nice little 4M recovery run. I got a chance to run around her home town and even see the famous graveyard.