Monday, August 17, 2009
amazing 20 miles
Liberty Park, as seen on my workout this morning.
The weather was perfect for my 20-miler. If I had ordered it up, I would have requested this: clear, calm, and 56 degrees (13C) at 5:35 am when I started out. It got up to maybe 68 (20C) when I finished, and it was a little warm, but still quite pleasant with the usual low humidity (26% right now at 1 pm; was a little higher this morning but pretty good).
I chose a FLAT route to go easy on my piriformis, and since the Portland Marathon is mostly flat (2 hills), I figured that would be OK (though I will do a hilly 20 next, I think, if my leg is a little better). Well, OK, today's route was almost flat. The first mile was downhill, and the last mile was uphill, but other than that, it was pretty much flat.
The first (downhill) mile was in 10:13, with an easy HR of 133. I had decided I'd go very easy today, keeping my HR around 140 if possible until the last 4 miles, when I would pick it up as I've been doing per Bart Yasso's advice in the Runner's World training plan I'm using (modified, but it's close). The next 15 miles (24.1 km)took me 2:39:56 for 10:43/mile (6:40/km) with an average HR of 140. Oh, and I hit the half marathon point at about 2:19. Fast! I guess I've been doing so many hills that the flat seems easy now :). Yay!!!!! The only caveat is that I did have to stop at more stoplights than I would have liked; to get a nice flat route I had to deal with traffic more unless I wanted to do the Jordan River Parkway again - but I am kinda bored with that route and wanted to change it up. I had to stop probably 8 times in the 15 miles, but it wasn't for long each time; I did stop my stopwatch so did not count that time, but it was extra rest I would not get in a race.
Then I picked up the pace and did an average of 10:18/mile (6:24/km) for the last 4 miles (6.4 km). Ave HR for that part was in the low 150s (but really was probably a little higher since I did have to stop and refill my water bottles in Liberty Park).
My right piriformis was only somewhat irritated by this whole thing today, which is good news. I have a massage scheduled for tonight and physical therapy tomorrow, so hopefully we can get a handle on it. At least it's not like the IT band thing that kept me from training, and it seems to be getting better.
I'm SO thrilled with the way my training is going. If I had done a whole marathon at today's pace, it would have been a 4:37! I'm not saying I can necessarily do one that fast (I know I'll have a bathroom break in there somewhere!), but at least I feel a 4:40-4:45 is definitely within reach :).