Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Next to last 20 mile run!


I took the weekend off from writing and will do a quick (for me) update through the weekend.  Last Thursday's episode left us doing a late-week Interval run on Thursday.  That workout backed up to Friday's kick-boxing based workout that had things hurting and sweat pooling within the first 10 minutes of class.  The kick-boxing, which, was more shadow-boxing with dumbbells vs. getting to hit people this week, was intermixed with core work on the ground and some cardio drills to ensure heart rates stayed elevated.

2011-APR-22 Diet Log

Saturday was a rest day in preparation for my 20 mile run on Sunday morning.  For this week's run, I tried eating a more normal day's calories and hydrating well.

2011-APR-23 Diet Log

Sunday we had plans to go to my folks' house for Easter, so my run needed to be completed relatively early.  20 miles isn't a fast workout anyway you cut it!  For this run, I was running with, Jed, a friend I've known (and see too little of) since college.  Jed ran the Burlington Marathon last year and ran away from me at last fall's Shelburne Half Marathon and has a 3:30 stretch goal for this year's marathon.

The route we ran took us through 3 towns along the Lake Champlain waterfront, through downtown and the Old North end "ghetto," a blink through Winooski out into farmland on Malletts Bay Ave, back into residential neighborhood before bending around Lakeshore drive with a view of Mallets Bay and out to the end of Colchester Point before looping back through the Delta Park wetland, running back over the Winooski River for the second time and finishing back where we started on the bike path.

Our goal was to run around 8:30s.  We (and by We I mean Jed) pushed the pace early and it wasn't until our biggest climb of the day around mile 5 that we got *up* to an 8-minute mile.  Our pace was comfortable, but I suspected it wasn't sustainable for the distance.  Once we got up to Willard St from the Lake, it was a gradual downhill for a few miles almost all the way to Winooski.  The miles were really clipping by quickly and we were feeling great.  We pit-stopped around mile 8 at a store on Malletts Bay Ave before setting off again.

I was hitting my Clif Shot Bloks religiously every 30 minutes and keeping the Accelerade flowing in small sips.  On this run, I halved the dosage I used for my last 20 miler and that definitely helped make the drink more refreshing vs. cloying to drink while running.  In terms of nutrition, I get a lot of what I need from the Clif Shot Bloks (Margarita w/ 3x sodium) and it really felt like overkill to have such a sweet beverage washing them down.  This go-around, I also had a sleeve of caffeinated gels that I alternated with the Margarita gels, take 3 every 30.  On my next run, I'm going to drop to 2 bloks from 3 bloks every 30 minutes and see what sort of a difference I feel.

My legs start feeling a little bored around mile 10, so I sprint the last significant hill of the run and go into a recovery jog until Jed catches up a few minutes later.  While this may seem counter intuitive, the quick change of pace and Call to Action by a whole bunch of bored muscles serves to get things moving and typically leaves me feeling better when I'm done with it.  Besides, the faster you run up the hill, the sooner you get to the top!

We run along pleasantly, still pretty consistently holding down sub 8:00 miles.  We hit a little downhill coming into Lakeshore Drive around mile 12.  Both of our paces naturally pick up slightly to take advantage of letting gravity do a little more of the work, but once we get back to flat ground, out pace doesn't match the change in terrain and when I do a Sanity Check of our pace on the Nike+, it spits out a 7:22 pace.  We back off slightly and hit half marathon distance at 1:45.xx.

By around mile 15-16, the fast early pace starts taking its toll.  I'm feeling pretty decent overall, but Jed (who doesn't run with water or gel) starts running out of gas.  We start interspersing some walking intervals.  Around mile 17 the gels I'd taken about 10 minutes earlier kick in and run out ahead to sprint the last little slope and I go to a recovery walk afterward and do some stretching for my hamstrings as Jed catches up.

I take my last gels at 2:30 around mile 18.  We make one more water break about a mile and a half from the end of the run and set off for the last bit.  With the end in sight, both of our paces pick up a bit.  I'm by no means fresh, but I'm also not feeling gassed, so with just under a mile left to go, I let my Podrunner mix (168 BPM) take over and keep building my pace to a Tempo Run.  For that last stretch, everything just came together.  The gels kicked in, the clock was ticking toward 2h45m (which was my goal for the run), the music tempo was spot-on for my cadence at the pace my legs wanted to run and I just ran.

I punched the "Stop" on Nike+ at 20.02 miles in front of Jed's place, walked for down & back the bike path for 100 yards or so to catch my breath, did my 25 jumping jacks & 30 push-ups (a proper finish to any long run!) just as Jed was arriving.  RunKeeper puts my last mile at a 7:22 which includes a bit at around an 8:00 pace.  Nike+ says it was sub-7:00, but it's also counting foot-strikes to come up with pace and I'm pretty sure my cadence increased enough to fool into thinking I was running faster than I was.

The run officially ended with both Jed and I standing on the bike path looking at long bank of stairs that led up to his development and wishing there was an elevator.  As we jogged up the steps at 11AM, we both marveled at the accomplishment of the run and realized that there were still countless people in Chittenden County still in their PJs watching TV.  A sore as we knew we both going to be, we think we chose... wisely.

2011-APR-24 RunKeeper Stats & Map
2001-APR-24 Nike+ Run Graph
2011-APR-24 Diet Log -- Easter Dinner.  Beer.  Wine.

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