Today was a good day. I had 14 miles (22.5 km) on the schedule, and was supposed to push the last few. Sue was going to meet me, but she only wanted to do 8, and had to be done by 7:15. So that meant I had to get up really early, because I wanted to do at least 4 before I met her (I really didn't want to still have 6 to do when she left), and besides, I had to get home to watch the kids before Loren went to work.
I arrived at the Jordan River Trail at 5:02 am sharp. It was 76 degrees (24.4C) and about 25-30% humidity. It was pitch black, but I had devised a nifty light for my fuel belt. Basically, I took one of those LED "dot" lights that comes w/velcro for sticking to walls, etc., and then I sewed some velcro straps for my fuel belt. It stuck right on around belly button level, and provided plenty of light.
I did the first 4 miles as an out-and-back to the south, at what felt like a very comfortable pace. I wasn't paying too close attention to that, but it turned out that I was a little fast (10:36/mile; 6:35/km) for an easy day. I was very happy to see Sue waiting for me when I got back to the parking lot (I was right on time to meet her around 5:45). We then took off to the north for 4 miles; I really enjoy having her with me for the conversation, etc. It makes the time pass SO much faster. Sure wish I could have someone to talk to for the whole marathon. Perhaps if I join the 4:45 pace group that will help. There's always the iPod, which helps too, but talking is much nicer.
We headed back and I was still feeling good, so when I said goodbye to her at the parking lot, I headed south for the last 2 miles (1 mile out-and-back) and decided to speed it up as my schedule indicates. I'm using a pretty nice schedule Bart Yasso of Runner's World wrote for readers training for fall marathons. I've modified it a little due to my TNT workouts, but it's mostly his schedule for runners wanting a PR. He indicates that on LSD (long, slow distance) days that you should speed up the last few miles. So I did. I did the last 2 in 20:35 for about 10:17/mile (6:23/km). My ave HR for the first 12 was 143 (about 75%; OK, a little high for my LSD, oops), but for the last 2 it was 156.
I felt great, though, and am still feeling good except for my darn R piriformis, which is still irritating me. It's not exactly painful, just achy, and gets annoyed when I sit for too long. I seem to be pretty much entirely over my IT band problems on the L leg, and in comparison w/that, this is nothing.
At the end, it was 80 degrees (26.6C). Pretty warm for here for 7:45am. It's supposed to get to 99 today, though, so not surprising. At least it's dry. I did sweat a lot, though, and noticed when I was done that I had a fine coating of salt on my body. If I do a long race in these conditions, I'm going to have to make sure I get enough salt.