20 mile runs, that is!! Boy, am I glad I got this one done.
LTR pacing time again!! By now…everything just seemed like routine. I was “captain” for the 9:30 pace group (ok, I volunteered for that job) so I was responsible for splitting up the group and the paceleaders. For whatever reason, it seemed like there were less than normal!! Maybe the threat of rain scared some people off? Or a lot deciding to run the Queens Half tomorrow? Whatever the case, made our jobs a little easier.
Me and TB were once again paired up and were ready to rock and roll. Though some people on the sidelines thought they had a sense of humor and said “almost there!” ummm…yeah. *rolling eyes* The first 2 loops passed by pretty easily (and I saw Uptown Girl and some of her other TRD teammates acting as course marshalls…good to see you all out there!) with not too much drama except one guy who kept trying to pull ahead and no one staying in the rec lane. And we noticed that when the conversation turned to boys, that we started to speed up, so that topic got nixed for the remainder of the run. 🙂 And dammit, there was a very cute guy who joined our group at the beginning of the 2nd loop, but eventually wound up running ahead.
The 3rd loop…not so well. TB had picked up the pace a little bit, and I stuck to the middle of the group…we were starting to get a little strung out. And the weather, the humidity, the elements were getting to me. (Though I took in a gel after each loop, and had water and Gatorade periodically.) Yeah-I guess you can say I mentally bonked on this loop. I said to TB that I wanted to drop back a group for the 4th loop and that “I can’t do this.” She reassured me that the first 20 was always the toughest, and to hang in there, there’s only 4 miles to go.
So I was able to pull myself together for that last loop. I took off my paceleader singlet since it was soaking wet by that time and I just felt tons cooler and lighter. And it felt good to be able to make the left turn onto the 72nd street transverse instead of heading straight on the West Drive (and it was evil during loop 3 when the course marshall was saying “mile 18, after the turn!!” arrrgghhh…maybe for the 7 or 8 minute groups, but not us!!) But I swear, I felt like I was moving so slow for the last coupla miles, though the splits didn’t show it. Just kept counting down…2 to go, 1 to go, half-mile to go, quarter-mile to go…mile 20!! I was so damn happy to see that sign. I saw Uptown Girl right after I finished and I think she can vouch for the fact that I was totally spent. 🙂 Got some Gatorade (which was like totally needed at that point), did some shmoozing, went to get my venti iced skim caramel macchiatto and home to shower and nap.
As for today…I guess it was not my best pacing job.
(just FYI-the long “mile 7” included a part of the transverse…for the following 2 loops, I hit the lap button at the start, so the really short splits were on the transverse.)
So yeah, a little fast overall. With TB shooting for 3:40 and me for 3:50, I think we were both more comfortable with a little bit faster for long runs, but the 9 minute group would have killed us. Also…what I think was also happening in the later loops was that we were speeding up to pass slower runners and walkers as the park got more crowded, which may have led to the overall miles being a little faster. But I definitely did try my hardest to stick to the pace, when it looked like we were speeding up to much, to pull it back. (And we really didn’t get any complaints…just compliments. Or maybe we did but not to our faces! 🙂 ) I tried to check in at the quarter-mile points…to see if we’d be around 2:22 for .25 mile, 4:45 for .5 mile, 7:07 for .75 mile and adjust from there.
But even though I was assured that the first 20 was the toughest…I didn’t have the “I rock” feeling that I had at the previous one. On the other hand-my average heart rate was exactly the same as the first LTR-for 4 more miles and 10 seconds faster per mile. (And maybe worse conditions?) But my legs were definitely tiring by the third loop. So yeah…may need to revise my goals a little bit. We’ll see how the next coupla weeks go.