|The two big mountains are not-quite-14,000 foot Meeker Mountain and true 14-er Longs Peak. I've been atop Longs!|
OK, now back to my long run. McMillan has two types of long runs in my plan: the traditional long steady slow-ish run (pace should be 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per mile slower than my projected marathon pace) and the Fast Finish long run. Today's was supposed to be one of the Fast Finish variety, the first one for me. It called for 14-18 miles total, with the last 6-8 at marathon pace. It was this last part that was the fail for today.
Honestly, I didn't feel great from the beginning. My alarm went off at five and I was in a dead sleep, having been awakened once by my son (wet bed, which Dan dealt with, but I was already awake) and later by my daughter (bathroom trip, which I dealt with--it was after this one that I reset the alarm from 4:30 to 5). I was worried about having to go to the bathroom for the first four miles, too, which kept me on a loop near downtown rather than letting me head straight out on my planned route in the backroads of Boulder County.
Eventually, I made it out of town, though, doing a decent job of keeping my pace in the slow range that the early miles called for (in my case between 9:30 and 10:30 miles). My legs felt dead until the ninth mile, when I finally got to turn off the pavement and hit some dirt roads. As the Garmin chimed 10 miles and I turned the music on, I shifted gears to the 9-minute pace I was hoping to run for the rest of the trip. And I did run it for two or three miles, enjoying the rolling hills and lake views....When I turned back onto paved roads, though, I ran out of gas. My pace slowed back down to the 10-10:30 range, depressing because about all I could do was watch it decline.
I thought about stopping and calling Dan for a pick-up at 14 miles, but decided that just because I had blown the fast finish, I shouldn't quit altogether. Instead, I hung on to salvage the 18 miles and did manage to add some speed back the last two. The lactic acid nausea was pretty bad when I stopped. Better luck next time! The next Fast Finish long run is two weeks from now. I hope I can do better.
Part of the problem with my long runs lately (I think) is that I'm doing my mid-week speed and tempo runs at paces faster than my McMillan calculator paces dictate. I just can't help myself! But I think I better start "helping myself" because I know getting these long runs done, and done as dictated by my plan, will be key to setting a PR at the Top of Utah Marathon in six short weeks (not to mention qualifying for Boston either there or in Houston in January).
Quick recap of July:
-I ran 127 miles. Not too bad considering there was the third week, when I had the kidney infection (the month's low point) and managed only 20 miles. My highest mileage week in July was 34 miles.
-I set a half-marathon PR at the ZOOMA Women's Half in Colorado Springs despite high heat and some big hills at the end. This was the high point of the month.
-For cross-training, I attended three 45-minute spin classes (so excited that Tammy's class starts again next month!) and hiked Sanitas several times with Christine.
-I survived and maintained while on a business trip to Cleveland at the end of the month. My McMillan plan says any running while traveling is good running. I won't be taking another trip until the big drive to Utah the day before my race!
I'm off now to enjoy the weekend with my family. My mom is visiting from Missouri, just briefly, so we're trying to spruce up the house for her arrival. I hope all of you had/will have great runs/workouts this weekend. And for those of you doing the Boulder Half-Ironman, best of luck!! You are rock stars and will prove it tomorrow.