Monday, February 21, 2011

Longest Long Run

Yesterday, I did the longest long run I've ever done, and the last of my Napa Marathon training. In fact, this was the longest run I've ever done.

Wait- didn't I do the CIM? Well, John pointed out that since I walked 10 miles of the CIM, the 22 miles I did yesterday was in fact the longest run I've completed. I did 21 during CIm training, and walked part of that as well. So yesterday's run was not only the longest run of this training (and last before the taper), but my longest yet.

It went very well, just like last week. It was nice, but very cold, out. When I started, visibility was maybe a quarter mile- which kept the bikes off the Parkway! I warmed up a few miles in, and was fine in long sleeves for the entire run.

I kept my 9 minute per mile pace for most of the run, slowing down a bit after 20 to 9:20 or 9:30. I stopped three times to pee and once to loosen my shoe and fill my water, and still maintained about 8:59 pace overall. Not too bad!

One problem I'm having is with the Garmin. At mile 12, it shut off after scrolling through the screens and displaying the Low Battery warning. 100% charged when I left the house, and Low Battery after 12 miles??? I think pausing the run has something to do with it (just as I speculated that scrolling through the screens killed it during CIM). I did figure out that once it shuts itself off, when it displays the time again I can re-start it and it works fine. It shut off again later, and lapped at the wrong times, but I did get it to work for the remainder of the run. I am thinking of sending it in to be looked at after the race, but certainly not before. As long as I have my current pace, I think I am good.

Overall I'm feeling pretty confident that I can come in under or around 4 hours at Napa with little difficulty. I have done two training runs (20 and 22 miles) at an average just below 9 minutes per mile (around 4 hours for the marathon), and that is by myself in training, not at a race. I will have to be sure to maintain around 9- and not go out too fast. That would be a problem. If I can manage to stay between 8:50 and 9:05, I think I will sail relatively easily through the race.

One more thing- I actually did a practice run on Sunday of getting up at (roughly) as early as I will race day, and eating what I'll eat then. I got up at 4:30, had chocolate mile and a banana, then coffee at 5 (2 cups total), then cold oatmeal at 6:15. I think that will work well, both for fueling, and being in a hotel.

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