Saturday, February 22, 2014

Questioning my sanity

Today's the day I start questioning my sanity in signing up for the Pittsburgh Marathon… Two weeks ago, I was supposed to run 14 miles as my long run, but since I was participating in a relay race where I would end up running 15 miles total, my actual longest run for the week was 8 miles. Today, my training plan required 16 miles - that's 2.6 miles longer than I have ever run before! 

I got up about an hour earlier than normal so that I could run a few miles before meeting up with my running group who was planning to do 10 miles. My goal was to do about 5 miles before meeting up with the group, so I figured I would just do a short loop and then head back to the starting point. Unfortunately, I ran into a race as I neared mile 3 and had to change my route, so I ended up running a little farther than I was expecting and had to meet my group already en route. I had about 5.5 miles in before meeting up with my group and then we started out for our 10 mile run. Our group started out with about 15 people, but slowly dwindled to 6 as we hit the last few miles - everyone was running different distances, so it wasn't unusual to have a smaller group doing the full distance. As we did our last loop before heading back uptown, we ended up taking a right instead of a left and added about 1.5 miles extra onto our route. Having to turn around at about 13.5 miles in was really rough! Not only had we just climbed a large hill, we also knew that this error would be adding extra mileage to our already long run. 

I'm glad I did a few miles before joining my group, because I was really hurting by the time I passed the half marathon mark and I know I would've slowed down if I was on my own. My overall pace for the 16.75 miles I did was 13:00 / mile, but there were several water stops where we all stopped moving and a few stoplights, so my average moving pace was closer to 12:30 / mile which is only about 30 seconds / mile off of what I was hoping to hit. Not too bad for my first really long run of my training series.

The good news is that after an ice bath and a nap, I'm starting to feel pretty good again (as long as I don't have to do too many stairs), so maybe I'm not quite insane after all!

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