Today I completed my very first marathon related long run. Every Saturday until the race day will be a long run day – with the exception of the very last Saturday on the weekend of the race. There will also be a reduction in mileage the last 2 weekends before race weekend.
Today was actually important to me because I wanted to see where I am at all from a speed and performance perspective. I have been doing cross training with Kosama for almost 6 weeks now and I was curious to see where I would fit in now with having that under my belt.
Here is the visual display of how today went.
And here is how the individual miles went. Please note, that the very first mile should be about 2.30 minutes less for the mile. I was using my Android smartphone for tracking and my running belt is not very big. So, I had to start the tracker and then push the phone into the running belt and then put an energy bar and some gels in there as well. By the time I hit the door roughly 2.30 minutes had passed already for the tracker. Mile 6 sticks out, too. Bio break and I was eating a gel, too but I am not counting this against the total as race day will probably see the same thing happen.
I was very happy to see that I was able to maintain a pace below or around 10 minutes per mile. I know I will not be able to maintain that speed for an additional 12 miles, but that is not important at this point. I completed 14 miles and I was still feeling pretty good. I had some steep hills towards the end which made things a bit difficult, but I consider that good as the race will mainly be flat with very little change in elevation. Today the climb was a total of 1098 feet.
Next week I will be attempting to run 15 miles, but I will make that a slightly moving target and might add another mile depending on how things go. I have to think about how to refuel during the training runs. I started out with 2 bottles of water today – one in the belt and one in my hand. After 5 miles of running with a bottle in my hand, my shoulders actually started hurting. Things got better when I was finally able to dispose and the pain went away within 5-10 minutes. So, I might have to map out a run that goes by my house. I could place a cooler outside and grab a new bottle and additional “fuel” on the fly. On the other side I prefer to run one big loop as it is simply more interesting and it also makes it psychological easier. Knowing that I have no other way of getting home other than running gives me some additional motivation. A few weeks ago I stopped at a 24 Hour Fitness and was able to refill my water bottle, but I would still need to be able to refuel along the way if I plan my runs along places where I know I get water.
Even though today was a good run, I know that I am far away of simply running a marathon. I still need a lot of training runs, especially long runs under my belt.