Saturday, November 17, 2007

The final 20

Yesterday Michele and I ran our final twenty miler in preparation for the Rocket City Marathon. Incase you are a newcomer to my blog, this is my 3rd marathon and my last (for atleast a year) attempt at breaking the 4 hour barrier. I've done a 4:17(Country Music Marathon) and a 4:08(Las Vegas Marathon). I used a generic plan from for the first one. I used the FIRST plan for the second one. When I began considering Rocket City, I went all in and ordered Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger. I chose the 18 week/55mi peak week plan to prepare for a sub 4 at Rocket City. This is by far the most mileage/week I've ever put into running. As a result, my paces have been somewhat faster, and my long runs have not hurt as badly. I can remember previously doing 20 milers and my legs being complete toast for 36 hours. I've even had dreams the night after the run that my legs were tree trunks. LOL. But by last night my legs were already feeling recovered from that morning's twenty miler. Whether or not I'll break 4 hours on Dec 8th remains to be seen, but I can say with certainty that I am now better prepared than I have ever been.

So, onto the run itself...

Michele arrived at my house and we took off at 4:00 a.m. in the dark and in the cold. 27 degrees cold. Somewhere during the first mile, I told her the plan I had thought up the night before. It was this:

3 sets of 6 miles, and two to hang tough with at the end.

The first set of 6, though, was to be broken up into two subsets. The first 3 were for warmup, as slow as it takes to get warmed up. Pace doesn't matter. The next three, just allow the legs to speed up naturally, and it should be around 9:45.

The second set of 6, shoot for 9:20 - 9:30.

The third set of 6, marathon pace. That would be 9:09.

The final two? If we're feeling good, sub 9. If we're about to die, just hang on tight to the marathon pace until the end.

The result? 20 miles in 3:06:06 for a 9:18/mile overall pace, and as you can see, we exceeded our plan expectations:

Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
Heart Rate (bpm)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Heart
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 58+0' 406.0-0.4151-4 ft
29' 59+0' 416.0-0.4146+30 ft
39' 44+0' 266.2-0.3148+4 ft
49' 42+0' 246.2-0.3155+39 ft
59' 26+0' 086.3-0.1153-16 ft
69' 23+0' 056.4-0.1151-52 ft
79' 15-0' 036.5+0.0156-10 ft
89' 15-0' 036.5+0.0157-20 ft
99' 19+0' 016.4-0.0160+16 ft
109' 21+0' 036.4-0.0160+20 ft
119' 16-0' 026.5+0.0162+23 ft
129' 17-0' 016.5+0.0163+29 ft
139' 35+0' 176.3-0.2164+26 ft
148' 58-0' 206.7+0.2163-16 ft
158' 58-0' 206.7+0.2167+10 ft
168' 58-0' 206.7+0.2167-19 ft
178' 46-0' 326.8+0.4169-23 ft
189' 00-0' 186.7+0.2169-10 ft
198' 51-0' 276.8+0.3170-36 ft
208' 42-0' 366.9+0.4173+7 ft
end********174** ft
Versus average of 9' 18 min/mile
** Insufficient data to calculate this split

Posted from

I drank OS Endurance Lemonade again, but it was hard to drink anything as cold as it was outside. As a matter of fact, around mile 10 my OS had ice in it! And it wasn't the only thing that froze either...check out the ice on my pony tail:
And if 3 hours and 6 minutes is long enough to freeze a pony tail, it's long enough to cause damage if your tights are rubbing the back of your ankle:
Oh, and we saw a pretty sunrise:
And some pretty fall's a shot of Michele running past the fall trees during mile 13. If you'll notice, mile 13 was a 9:38 pace, and was supposed to be run at marathon pace. We took some time to take to take some pictures and enjoy the sites, though:
I have one more thing to say. If you haven't already noticed, my heart rate got a little crazy at the beginning of the run. Not only that, but my heart rate has been noticeably higher for the first few miles during my last several runs than it was, say, three weeks ago. My heart rate used to start out in the 130s. Just an observation. Not sure what to make of it...but I felt it was worth mentioning.

I lied, there's actually one more thing. If you haven't already, go check out David's AWESOME 20 miler that he did today. He's on the same plan, for the same marathon, and I challenged him to beat our time today. And he didn't just beat it, he CRUSHED it. Way to go, David!! All I have to say is if we all 3 get sub 4 marathons in Huntsville, there's going to be a serious sub 4 celebration going on!!!

Also in for Rocket City are Lisa, Joe, Wes(also in for IMFL '08), and Darrell. It's going to be another great blogger meet up!!


greyhound said...

It looks to me like you're ready. Go and take it. It's yours.

Darrell said...

Now that's the way to run a 20 miler. Way to go.

Good luck with the run for sub 4:00. From experience I can tell you it feels really good. This time around I'll be following the three of you to the celebration.

Michele said...

Thanks for making me push myself.

I still don't know if I have a sub 4 in me but training with you is going to give me the best shot at it.

Love the pony tail.

See ya in the morning

IronJenny said...

You and Michele are SO READY!!!!
Can't wait for your big race-day...

david said...

I'm really looking forward to running with you and Michele in Huntsville. I just hope I can keep up!

Bigun said...

wow...sub 4 - you go! fingers crossed for a great race day for you!

Coach Tammy said...

Nice run!!! and nice ponytail. ha! Good luck at the sub-4. I think you're golden!

TJ said...

awesome run. yall are gonna smash your sub 4 goal.

Phil said...

Whether or not you break through the 4 hour barrier will depend on a lot of factors. What it will not depend on is your training. I've never seen you running so strong and as someone who has been through the Pfitz plan twice and managed to squeak under 4 hours following the plan, I can tell you unequivocally that you are in better shape now and are running your 20 milers with more confidence than I was prior to my first two marathons.

Take the taper seriously, and run these last couple of weeks for the joy of running. You’ve put in the work, your body is ready, you are mentally prepared … you are ready to charge.

Good luck.


Wes said...

You are such a speedster! I so hope you get your sub-4 (just because I wanna be there for the party ;-)

Thanks for the shout out, chica!

momo said...

ok, i have to be honest, when someone posts about a long run/ride, i read - but i more skim than read, if you know what i mean. today however, i read this entire post because i'm absolutely in awe at how well you nailed your plan.

every twenty i've done has gone along the lines of - i know where we're starting and where we're stopping - but thats about as planned as it has ever been.

GREAT job out there, lana! based on what i can see - you are completely set to break 4. i can't wait to hear all about it!

oh, and aquaphor on the seams of your tights and everywhere else will help with that chafing.

Lance Notstrong said...

Holy icey ponytail Batman!!!