01 May 2008

The Hay is in the Barn

Yesterday's run was supposed to be my last semi-long run. It ended up being something else: A 20-miler.

Now, I know, I know...before you comment about how this was stupid (It probably was) and with a marathon a little over a week away I should keep the miles down (I probably should), I would like to suggest that this run did more for my mental preparation for the race than it could damage my physical preparation. I ran very successfully on pretty tired legs. I'm more ready than I've ever been.

Ellie had a 17 miler scheduled, so we headed out to the kettles where she would run a 5 mile loop trail, then a 7 mile loop road, then another 5 mile loop trail. She got done with work earlier than me, and as I pulled up to the trailhead parking lotin my car she was just getting done with her first 5 miles. Feeling good so far, she smiled and began "Part 2." Off she went down the road in one direction, and I headed the other. I ran the same 7 mile loop that she did, feeling great the whole way and finishing in 48:03 (6:52 pace). I then ran another 3.2 miles before she returned at 6:30 pace. Despite the hills and the wind, I felt fantastic! I then caught Ellie on the trail loop as she was finishing up her 17 miles (2 miles further than she'd ever covered, and about 4 miles further than she'd ever covered continuously running). With about a mile to go, I could really see the "wheels" coming off for Ellie, but she was a trooper and was ecstatic upon finishing (and NOT faceplanting over a rock or root). I wouldn't trade being with her at that particular moment for anything. She was smiling, proud, and sore. But she had realized she's capable of more than a lot of people thought she was. And the best is yet to come! Now we just need to get her IT Band calmed down.

Ellie headed back into town, and I decided, with my mileage at about 15, that I was still relatively fresh...why not do a couple more miles? I ran a quick out-and-back 5 mile stretch at 6:59 pace.

All in all, I ran a bit over 20 miles in 2:35, with 10 miles at the beginning at sub-7 pace, 5 in the middle with Ellie, and the last 5 miles at sub-7 pace. Now I can taper down, enjoy the anticipation of the marathon, and pray continuously for favorable weather.

This is Wisconsin in mid-May, after all.

27 comments:

aharmer said...

Good luck next weekend, and at Boston 2009! Garmins on sale cheap at REI for the next week!

Nitmos said...

I won't admonish you for an extra long, long run during taper. Only you know you.

You seem primed for a great race...like a finely tuned piano just waiting to be played at the marathon.

David said...

The "H" is for Harden. It's a term in constant use on slowtwitch.com.

I'm not sure it was an outright stupid thing to do. For someone that is barely trained up for a marathon, I wouldn't recommend it. But for someone, like yourself, that has a goal to improve your time, not just complete, I don't see much of a problem with it. Just have to make sure you refuel, right?

The Laminator said...

I'm jealous of your fab taper run. You'll do great next weekend. I'm sure of it.

bill carter said...

Hi Nic

You are going to tear it up. I have really admired the way you have prepared for this race despite umm... certain meteorological challenges. Examples would be ice storms, blizzards and the like...

Best of luck and may all the wind be at your back.

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