Saturday, December 31, 2011

One last post for 2011

I know, I know, I already wrote my year-in-review post but I wanted to write one more post about my final run of the year.

Today I had two goals:

1. Run a solid 15.5 mile run at mostly "marathon pace," which is a sort of bizarre concept right now because I'm focusing on half-marathons. According to the Daniels running program, based on my recent performances, I should be able to complete a marathon at around a 7-minute-per-mile pace. I don't think I'm actually in shape to do that, so I've adjusted "marathon pace" to about a 7:20 pace. This is actually what the McMillan Running Calculator projects based on my recent 5K time, so that's a reasonable enough guess (in any event, I'd be thrilled to run a 3:09 marathon, which is what you get when you run a 7:20 pace!).

2. Run in flats to decide whether to try running in flats during my half-marathon next week.

Goal #1 was a success. The actual workout involved 40, 20, and 10-minute segments at marathon pace, with faster 5-minute tempo segments inbetween. Given that I hadn't done so well at tempo pace earlier this week, I was a little concerned. But I ended up doing quite well.

MP segment 1 was 40 minutes, about 5.5 miles. I was running the DART loop and decided to stop at my house after ever loop to hydrate and fuel up, so there were two breaks, including one during this segment, but I don't think that affected my performance much. Here are my splits: 7:18, 7:16, 7:20, 7:12, 7:13, and a 7:22 pace for the final .5 miles.

Tempo 1 was okay, a 6:36 pace.

MP segment 2 was 20 minutes, 2.75 miles, including quite a bit of uphill running. Here are the splits: 7:20, 7:26, 7:24, including over 260 feet of climbing.

Then I went straight into Tempo 2, which was again okay, a 6:35 pace.

MP segment 3 got broken up by a water / fuel break, so I picked up the pace a bit: 6:59, and 6:41 for the final .46 miles before cooldown.

Overall my pace for the active portion of the workout was 7:10 per mile, for 11.2 miles. I'll need to go a little faster than that to reach my goal of a 6:52 pace, but I think it's in the realm of possibility, especially since Mississippi is a much flatter course than what I ran today.

Goal #2 was a success as well. I was definitely starting to feel a little pain in my feet near the end of the run, but nothing that wouldn't be manageable in a race. I think the lightweight shoes are well-worth the slight discomfort.

Details of today's workout are below

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