This really is a continuation of my last post - call me the long-winded blogger for the day. When I left off, I was contemplating how effective it is to run an even pace. My next random thought is that it always seems so desirable to run negative splits, but then perhaps you didn't run hard enough during the first half . . . I think a lot of factors really go into all of it. A lot of it is mental, and a lot of it is training. Then you can do all different schools of thought on what kind of training. For me, I want to run a faster marathon. A fast marathon needs endurance and speed (and a lot of grit and a lot of passion). There are so many training plans that have you doing the endurance or the speed, and then both, but it gets harder when you talk about doing them together - to put it simply - to do long training runs or intervals at a fast pace. How much is enough to benefit you, and how much is too much so that you'll wind up with an injury. And without knowing exercise physiology to a 'T', how do you know if you're benefitting from the training. Do you have to undergo tests at an exercise phys. lab? Do you have to run marathon upon marathon to see if you improve? Then some schools will tell you that will cause injury - while at the same time you see this new trend of U.S. runners who try to run 50 states in 50 days, or one every month of the year.
It all makes me crazy. So what did I do today? I set out to run a long run after a race. I figure it was somewhat simulation - an experiment of sorts. When I started out, my legs weren't fresh - a little tired from my 10k yesterday, that's all. My long run said differently. I ran really slow and I was really tired. And I had aches and pains that I never have on long runs. My right soleus is still killing me, and I have odd soreness on the top of my left foot. What I felt like, was that I went out too fast in the 6 miles (yesterday) of a 23 mile mile run (17 today + 6 yesterday +23). My run yesterday served a purpose (see my last post), and I think I proved the lesson today. Running an even pace makes sense - starting controlled and conservative, but finding that sweet spot where you're still pushing yourself. I didn't plan to run fast today. Part of my purpose was to feel a little tired and have to do a long run - that's how I'll feel during a large part of the next marathon. I sauntered along today aimlessing taking gels and drinking electrolytes. I dragged along my hydration pack and my gels and my cell phone and my camera . . . yes, 17 miles with my camera. I'm a photography nut. It's just as much fun to come home and tweak them with computer graphics as it was to take them. Truly, though, today's course was beautiful. My body felt miserable, but mentally, it was just me and the miles out there - pure bliss. I always rant and rave about these areas when I come home, so now I have proof.
Mile 2 - Magnolia Bluffs
Mile 3 - Ferry crossing Puget Sound
Mile 4 - Olympic Mountains over Puget Sound
Mile 4 - Discovery Park
Mile 5 - Discovery Park Loop Trail
Mile 7 - Train Bridge near Chittenden Locks
Mile 8.5 - Turn around at Golden Gardens Park
Mile 9 - Shilshole Bay Marina
Mile 11 - Back on the trails in Discovery Park
Mile 12 - More trails in Discovery Park - Note the "Disco Ball" on the left.