Monday, August 06, 2007

A Marathon Long Run

Literally.

Yesterday I covered the club's long run track. Emmanuel said it was 43km (almost 27mi), but my Garmin measured it as 25.7mi, although there was a bit of estimating there because I had hit Stop and not Start again for some period of time. So, it could have been a whole 42km (26.2mi).

I ran the first 18 miles with no walking and my pace was. . . fast. Particularly for that distance. Then I ran out of steam and started to seize up -- get stiff and sore. So a lot of miles 20-26 were walked. In the end, my time was 4.5 hours.

This was the first time in almost 22 years that I have run that far. The last time was when I ran the Chicago Marathon in 1985, when I was 23 years old. And I think my time was about the same. So, I must say I was duly impressed with myself. The most impressive thing is that after following my coach's advice, I got up this morning and did our weekly speed/strength workout. My 125m sprints were a bit slower than last week, but I finished the whole workout.

My right thigh is tight and a bit sore and my left hip is a bit sore. I can tell that I definitely have something going on with my psoas muscle, because I can feel it all the way from up in my back down to the front of my groin. Tomorrow's yoga session will focus on my hips, I think.

My coach's advice? First, take a warm bath (well, a bucket bath, but with warm water) and put salt in it. Then take a 45 minute nap, then eat something. So, I did just that and then laid around all afternoon (watching a DVD with episodes of "Blow Out" a truly American reality show) resting.

So all in all it is working. I am definitely getting faster. My average pace for this run was 10:30/mi, but the last 3-4 miles included a lot of walking. Up to mile 20 my pace averaged about 9:15/mi. My pace for the Mezam River mid-week 11.5 miler was 8:50/mi. Now I'm getting interested in what will happen the next time I run a race.

I might just be learning that following directions, being willing to take coaching from someone else, can produce results. I have always been so independent my whole life and the last few years have been increasingly so. It is an interesting experience to just follow and try my best to do what I am told. I like not having to interact with my mind at 5am. I just get up, get dressed and go. The Spirit moves in mysterious ways!

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