Monday, February 6, 2012

C&O 16 Miler, the sequel

The weather was nice so back to the canal again for my long run last weekend.  The training plan called for 16 miles again this week.  This time I tried something I had never done before and that was to break the run into two "there and back" runs.  Because the canal is so remote, I don't really like the idea of being 8 miles away from my car.  I always carry my cell phone with me in case of a big emergency, but what if I sprain my ankle or something relatively minor yet disabling?  Since the long runs are all pretty uh.... long, this approach seems like a good move.

I also think I've finally come to grips with the idea of S L O W I N G down on my long runs.  I have been spending a lot of time on the forum at and keep reading the same advice over and over again.
  • Slow down on your long runs. 
  • Long runs are for building endurance not speed.  
  • Work on the endurance first and the speed will come later.  Maybe much later, as in maybe on your second or third (or twenty-first) marathon.  
  • Slow down and get through the long runs without any worry at all about speed. Just get in the miles.

Accepting that I need to run slower and actually running slower turned out to be two different things.  I had to constantly remind myself to slow down.  I even built in one minute walks every 4 miles to drink and take in some energy gel and I still ended up averaging 10:32.  I was trying to keep it between 10:30 and 11:00 so I guess I did OK, but I'm going to try and slow down a little bit more next week.

I parked the car at Noland's Ferry and started off downstream.  This took me just past the substation and almost all the way to Dickerson Park.  The first four miles were a piece of cake.  I turned around and headed back up the trail and started flirting with the idea of extending my run to 18 miles.  The next four back to the car felt really good too and I all but decided that 18 was a good idea.

Then I hit the 12 mile mark and decided I shouldn't push it.  I have a sore glute muscle that the foam roller can't seem to keep calm that was really starting to hurt.  The last thing I need is to be forced to miss my first marathon because of a sore ass!  So I turned and walked for a minute and drank my water and had some Gu.  I ran the last four without much trouble and even managed to kick it up the last 110M or so.

Overall, this run went MUCH better than last week so I'm really happy about that.  I hope the 18 mile run on the schedule for this week goes as well!

Sorry, no pictures this time.  I didn't feel like carrying the camera and I wasn't going to anyplace new anyway.

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