Confidence Restored

Today was my 2nd 15 miler of my marathon training – although in the original schedule, it was supposed to be my first 20. Funny how you’re forced to be flexible.

I did a 15 on July 26. Total time was 2:59:25 (avg pace 11:58). You know, a bit slow, but it was 1 million degrees.

Then, three weeks ago on August 8, I did a 16 miler. Total time was 3:06:24 (avg page 11:39). Better – it was cooler – but still not really where I wanted to be pace-wise for my long runs (I’d like to be around 10:45 for those – or 30 seconds slower than my planned marathon pace).

Two days after my 16 miler, I did my last track workout, and just today downloaded the stats for that:

5 miles total, 52 minutes, 10:32 pace.

Warmup, 1 mile, 11:23

3×10 pushups; 1/4 mile (2:34, 10:23 pace)
30 crunches; 1/4 mile (2:41, 10:45 pace)
3×10 tricep dips; 1/4 mile (2:39, 10:41 pace)
3×10 incline pushups; 1/4 mile (2:50, 11:17 pace)

800#1 – 4:11 (8:23)
recovery 1/4 mile – 3:08 (12:35)
800#2 – 4:12 (8:23)
recovery #2 – 3:01 (11:48)
800#3 – 3:57 (8:

Cooldown, 1 mile – 11:37

Technically, I was going for five 800s, but felt NOT RIGHT after the 3rd one, so I went home. And then, of course, it turned out that I’d tweaked my knee & pulled a muscle.

My run last weekend was a slow 10. And my great 5 on Tuesday was followed by a crappy (but fast) 2 on Friday.

I wasn’t sure what to expect today.

I certainly wasn’t expecting the fantastic run that happened!

JM & I started out ahead of E & the Ambitious One, and right away I could tell it was going to be awesome. I could also tell every time we started going faster than 10 minute miles – that’s when I could feel my knee.

We hit the turnaround at mile 7.5 (love trails that have the mileage marked) sooner than seemed possible, and although we did end up with a couple of pitstops along the way, our overall pace was pretty good. I didn’t have Leo programmed to do auto-splits at the mile markers, but the fancy graph my Garmin software makes shows us super consistant at the 10 minute mile mark.

When we hit 13 miles at about 2:13, we both had 1/2 marathon PRs!

The overall run was 2:36:27 – in other words, almost 25 full minutes faster than our last 15 miler (which also had many untimed walk breaks, and some hallucinations). I feel great, too. No knee pain. No groin pain. I mean, I’m tired, but I feel SO GOOD!

Final pace: 10:25, and if I’d had to, I could’ve gone further – which is exactly how I like to feel after a run. I only have two more long runs before my marathon taper starts – 18 miles on Friday and 20 the weekend after. Then I’m down to 13 & 10 & then I think there’s a 26.2 scheduled.

For the first time in three weeks, I’m feeling pretty good about my ability to not only cross the finish line, but cross it & feel good about it, too!

And, to top off that great, great run, we headed to brunch at Cricket Cafe, where the four of us met up with Jen (who’d run to the cafe) for the best bloody marys in town (so far) and a great brunch. You know it’s a lot of food when a bunch of runners needed to go boxes after (well, not me – although I did leave some of the eggs).

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