(53:01, 8:50 pace)
(52:53, 8:48 pace)
(52:31, 8:45 pace)
Final time was 2:38:25, 8:48 pace.
My original plan was to start off the first loop slower than 9’s…then pick it up with each loop and try to get some marathon pace work in. What happened? I was actually surprised to see those first coupla splits, but I just went with it…
So, I tried to put last week behind me and start fresh for today. The weather was perfect, and even though the iPod was on the fritz (though I just got a replacement one today for free-yay!) I had my Rio Cali loaded with great songs and set on shuffle. I was running this at the end of a 41 mile week, so I wasn’t going to be tapered or anything.
I jogged 2 warmup miles to 102nd street and a little bit down the east drive (and one of the marshalls was yelling that “the race is THIS way!” umm…haven’t you seen anyone adding on mileage before?) I ran into Jon just as I finished up my warmup and we chatted while I waited on the long-ass line to check my bag and we walked over to the start, where we lined up with a bunch of other Flyers, and eventually we were off!!
Mile 1 was very crowded, and but felt pretty relaxed and content to let whomever pass me since I’m sure no one lined up right. However, I still had Jon in my sights near the first mile marker and hoped I hadn’t rabbited the start. Was a little faster than I had planned, but not so bad. I tried to pull it back for mile 2 but another one faster than expected…hmmm. I decided to just take advantage of the fact that I was feeling good and just go with it. Sister Smile was running in the other direction, cheering on the runners-thanks and good to see you out there! I was still feeling strong through the first loop, so tried to either maintain or pick it up a little for the second. Saw Derek and he ran with me for miles 11-14. But I honestly did not feel like chatting, I just felt like running by myself, listen to my music, do my own thing. (BTW-you are officially not allowed to run with me at the marathon :-p )
The last loop had heated up quite a bit and I felt it getting to me a little. By that time, I knew I could ease up a bit and still put up a good time, but I felt I needed to prepare the mental game…c’mon, no slowing down with 6 miles to go in the marathon!! Once I hit mile 14, it became more of a countdown to me…“you got a 4-miler to go…now not even a 5K…2 miles, that’s 4 songs…1 mile, take it strong to the end!” And that last mile turned out to be my best! I finished up strong (hey Josh-was that you I saw near the finish line?)…and thanked the Harrier guy that I was sorta pacing off for a good part of the race and told him “good job!” (we had been sorta trading places throughout the run until I passed him for good around mile 15. I finished a few seconds ahead on the clock, he got me with 1 second on chip time-so all in all, pretty much equal.) Chatted with a coupla other Flyers and said hi to a coupla Rez Dogs before walking home (and who comes up to me while I was walking home? The cute married guy who was in my LTR #2 pace group. Too funny.)
And as for today, I really needed this one. Finally, the hard work is paying off. Very respectable time, considering it didn’t even feel like a race effort (well until the last loop-but I think that was more due to the heat.) Plus, I didn’t lose time at the water/Gatorade tables…yay, I finally got the funneling thing down! (Only took 2 years…) I doubt 8:48 is going to be my marathon pace (not too sure I trust Toby Tanser’s theory that your pace for this 18-miler will be your pace in the marathon)-the goal remains the same-4 hours. But at least it’s a little boost of confidence that all is not lost and a 9-minute pace is realistic (of course, as long as the weather cooperates.)
One more 40-mile week to go…man, I can taste the taper!! It’s getting soooo close…
now playing: “maneater” ~ nelly furtado