This weekend, the push towards the half marathon in four weeks continued. Yesterday, I did 8 miles. This is the longest distance I’ve run since last year. The course I ran on was hilly (which will match what the race course will be like) and conditions were windy. Not ideal for a good long run but we fight through it, right?
Overall, I’d have to consider it a success.
I covered the distance in 1:12:56. Knees felt great. No issues whatsoever (although today they feel a little stiff…..not surprising considering I haven’t run that distance since last year). I ran a fairly “technical” route. I hit that big uphill at about the 4 to 4.5 mile mark and started walking about halfway up. I wasn’t going much faster running it than I would have walking (plus I was spending a lot more energy) so I figured I’d better walk.
I didn’t realize until I was on the road that after the uphill that it headed back downhill for about a half mile solid until I hit the turnaround point of the run. That meant that I had to head back uphill for about a half mile until I hit the hill on the way back down. Lots of up and down but I figure it’ll mimic what we’ll see on the road in Door County so might as well get used to it now.
I needed to take several short walking breaks throughout the run which isn’t surprising either. According to my clock, I hit the 5K mark at about 27 minutes even which is about 30-60 seconds slower than I wanted to go. I sped up to about an 8 minute mile pace for the next mile or so and got down as slow as a 10:10 mile when I was doing the hills. I covered the last mile (relatively flat) in about 9:15. That works out to about a 9:08 minute/mile for the full 8 miles. About a 9:09 minute/mile pace would me to 2 hours flat for the half so I’d still be a few minutes shy of that if I stretched it out to the full 13.1.
I felt like I had something left in the tank at the end thought which I definitely couldn’t say last year for the race. I wouldn’t have been going fast but I think I could’ve kept going. Overall, I’m pretty happy with how the run turned out but there’s still work left to do. I’m glad I did this run with the hills. It wasn’t fun doing them but it should help when it really counts.
I figure I have a couple things going for me. 1) I’m practicing running the hills. I could have run a flat course and posted a better time but the climb would’ve killed me again. 2) Once I get a couple Gu packs in me during the longer runs, that’ll help too. 3) I’m going to run intervals once a week from here on out. If I want to improve my speed, I simply have to.
I ran with the hydration belt for the first time yesterday. Does yours slide around on your hips when you run? Mine kept going back and forth during the run. Not necessarily a hinderance but it was getting annoying after a while.
This weekend, I think I’m going to for 10 miles. I know you’re only supposed to increase your long run by one mile a week but time is of the essence. In two weeks, I’ll go for 11. Weekend after that is the Deer Run and I’m not sure what I’ll do for that weekend.
That’s about it for now. I’m going to try intervals again tomorrow. Haven’t had much success with them recently but keep at it, right?