Monday, October 10, 2011

Marathon Training -26 days to go EEEK

As of today I have 26 days until the NYC Marathon. Eeek.

I ran 42 miles this week. Which is my second 40 plus mile week. By itself that is pretty exciting. It should have been slightly higher mileage but life got in the way.

Time Trial Troubles
So I did my third mile time trial this week. For my first 2 I had run them in the neighborhood and trusted the Garmin for the distance and of course time. 8:12 and 8:15 were the results. This time I headed to the track for an honest measurement. I did a 1 mile warm-up and then hit the track. I was manually hitting the lap button. I gave it all I had. Sadly it was a little depressing because the Garmin measured the time at 8:38 and the distance at 1.12.

I ran 4 times around lane 5 so I'm pretty sure it was 1 mile almost exactly. So that was disheartening because if the distance is off then the pace measurement is also off.  That pace estimate is what I've been using for my mental goals. Also unhappily (mighty unhappily) the time was 8:38 and I was hoping for more around 8 based on the 2 previous trials.

I was initially befuddled because I had been watching my pacing throughout and seeing 7:50 and numbers like that. Remember I was shooting for an 8 minute mile. So I was very confused about how the total could be 8:38. But I figured it out. The watch was giving me an instant pace (which was what I requested) not the accumulated pace for the mile and then when it hit the mile mark it just kept counting until I hit lap. Now I have it showing me my lap pace which I think might be more helpful.

So I was bummed. Then I did some research  (reading DC Rainmaker, googling and asking fellow runners) and some thinking. Apparently Garmins can be fooled a little bit by running around a track. And also they do apparently need to be reset or the distances can be off. And just generally I made peace with the fact that I think my Garmin does measure the distance a little longer than it should. One running buddy ran a measured 20 mile course and her Garmin reported it as 20.6 miles. It probably averages out over time for the most part. What's a girl to do?  In the end it's just a tool. So having honest data is good for me setting honest goals.

In the end even though the number was higher than I was hoping for it was I believe faster than the 2 others I have done which I'm choosing to feel good about. 

And I have reset my trusty Garmin. I meant to do a soft reset but it turned out to be a hard reset so that's a pain, but whatever.

A good workout
On the good news front. I did a 9 mile - mile repeat workout on Wednesday and that felt great. It is a little cooler which is very nice. I did trust the garmin for the distances because it's the best option. But I turned off the autolap so that I could see the averages of the 2 mile chunks together.

It felt good. The whole way. The mile repeats were hard especially at the end but it felt good.

The long run
I ran 20 miles. Started at 4:45 am - that's very early. There was a chance that I would be running most of this in a total downpour which would have royally sucked. So I was lucky it was not raining for 99% of the run.

 I took some photos during the run.
The South Miami Hospital where we start is all decked out in Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness.

It was very dark for almost half the run. Here we are meeting up with Mel who we couldn't see until we practically ran into her. She's those reflective strips.

My chin with Carol - running buddy extraordinaire.

My trusty cooler that I set out for us.

It rained all weekend except during the run. But this happened as I was driving to breakfast. I can't believe how lucky we were.

The other fun thing about this is that I did run this training run 23 minutes faster than the previous 20 miler.  Now to be honest this time gain is probably all in not stopping for water and chatting and whatever but still it makes me feel good.

As a random fact somehow I managed to get chaffing on my back during the run. What? It was apparently from my sports bra but seriously that is kindof weird. It is seriously one of the only places I didn't put bodyglide - I practically bathed in the stuff before I started.  How I'm gonna get that stuff on my back without waking up my husband is a good question :-)

Looking forward
This is the highest mileage week of the plan. 50 big ones. I'm gonna give it my all. Wish me luck. I'm also going to buy new shoes this week. I thought you'd like to know.

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