Of course, the term “speedy” is relative but I’ll get to that later.
I’ve had a spectacular week of training so far (which I’ll recap on Monday) so my expectations were high for today’s run. Unlike two weeks ago, I did not have to recover from a trail 5k the night before. (I would say that I’ve learned my lesson but I probably haven’t.)
It took me a little while to get over to the Swamp Rabbit this morning (I kept dozing while having my devotions…oops :D) but once I started running I felt pretty good.
I’ve come to expect slower times for the first couple miles and now treat them as the warm up miles that they are. (Perhaps I should actually warm up before MCM?) It was great to see so many runners (and cyclists) out on the trail in the wonderful weather. Well, the weather was wonderful for the first hour or so.
Instead of indulging my need for speed like I did last week, (what can I say?…oh right, I can blame the new shoes) I tried to keep my pace between 9:00 and 9:30 aka 30-60 seconds below marathon goal pace.
Things seemed to fall into place with each mile. It’s hard to remember a lot about the individual miles because they went by so quickly. That is one thing I remember specifically thinking while on the “back” portion of my second out-and-back. I don’t ever remember a long run that seemed to be over so quickly, almost as if I blinked and then I was done. (Okay, not quite like that but pretty close.)
As well as this run went, I couldn’t help wondering while I was out there if I really have a 3:45 in me. Of course, I had some of the same thoughts before San Francisco and I met my sub 4 hour goal. I guess I would wonder more if I didn’t get nervous and have a few doubts before a marathon. I’ve had great success so far. I ran my first marathon in just under 5 hours a little less than two years ago. On my second marathon seven months later I snagged a 24 minute PR. A year ago, I shaved 13 minutes off that PR in Savannah. Most recently I notched a 3:58 (a 23 minute PR) in San Francisco.
I know that’s not usual and part of me wonders when that will end.
See the kinds of things one thinks about while running 20 miles? (Granted, I’ve also used that time to tentatively plan my marathon schedule for the next few years as well as come up with most of my running bucket list. Running for three hours gives a person lots of time to think.)
In the end, I made it back in one piece (though that was in doubt for a bit near the Swamp Rabbit Crossfit when a few recreational cyclists decided to play chicken with me) in almost the fastest time I have ever run 20 miles. That 20 miles aka the Greer Half Marathon with 7 miles tacked on is still the fastest.
Only two more long runs (16 miles with 12 at race pace + 12 miles) remain before the marathon. It’s almost time to embrace the taper!