|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 coolrunning.com 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:
Posted from bimactive.com
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 leaves...here'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!!