|Some very dusty Mizunos after many miles on the trail.|
Earlier in the morning I was listening to The John Tesh Radio show and he was doing a segment on pets. I was intrigued. I usually like listening to John Tesh, he's pretty smart! Anyway, Once I got to the trail I thought I would continue listening to the radio on my ipod instead of my normal running playlist. Well, between all the talking of the radio show and the commercials, I felt like I was running slower. I really do think that I need constant music to keep me going. I don't really know if it makes me run faster or if it just makes me FEEL faster because the music is fast. So, at mile 3.1 I had had enough of the radio and switched my ipod back over to my running playlist. I wanted to see if the music made me run faster or if it was all in my head. I made sure to watch my time as I approached the next 3.1 miles. Sure enough I did a negative split at the 10K mark. It wasn't by much, but it was faster than the first 3.1 miles so I guess I proved my case. For now anyway!
At this point I decided to go ahead and just run the 15 miles. The next experiment I was going to try was stopping at the restroom along the trail. I was not in any dire need at this point but I still thought it might be good for me to start building in that extra time into my training because I know I will not be able to get through all 26.2 miles on race day without making that dreaded stop. But as it turned out by the time I approached the restroom stop I was too much in a groove to stop.
The trail I usually run on is an 18 mile trail. It's 9 miles up and 9 miles back. My plan for the 15 miler was to do 7.5 up and then turn around and do the 7.5 back. It was a beautiful day out, the weather was gorgeous so I thought I might as well run up to the 8 mile mark and turn around and then that way I would finish a mile earlier. I like running a little further on the way up so I finish a bit earlier on the way back.
Now in my mind I was thinking If I'm going to run 8 miles, I might as well run 9 miles and just finish up the trail. I debated about this tactic for a few minutes. It was a perfect day weather wise to get a long run of 18 miles in. It would be great to get this long run over with while I'm in the mood but on the other hand, I didn't want to get greedy with my mileage. Going from 13.1 one week to 18 the next week is a significant jump. I didn't want to risk bringing my injury back.
But then it happened. In my mind it was only one more mile up and one more mile back than I was running anyway, so I decided to give the 18 miles a try. This is awful to say but I truly thought that my pain would come back and I would have to walk a lot of it anyway. But thankfully the pain stayed away.
I kept thinking to myself just get through the planned 15 miles and if you have to walk the last three, you can. But when I completed the planned 15, I couldn't just give up and walk. I had to respect the last 3 miles and give it just as much effort as I did the first 15. Of course my pace was slower those last 3 miles but the overall pace was still under where I want to be for marathon weekend to make my goal.
With that being said, I realize that I do need to adjust my goal for marathon weekend. I think it's possible that I will be able to run the 26 miles with in my time goal but it's that dang .2 that's going to put me over. Now I know why everyone says it's the .2 that kills ya!
Have you done any experiments during your run? What are your best tips for getting through high mileage without tired legs? -M