There's a half marathon in Vallmeyer, IL tomorrow that I was originally planning to run. It's a small race on a challenging course and it's the only half marathon I've ever run that is small enough that I can place in my division. I've run it several times and it's always a nice ego boost. Unfortunately, it doesn't fit into my schedule very well. If I run 13.1 miles tomorrow, what do I do about the 18 miles on the schedule for Sunday? I could tack on 5 miles after the race. Or I could just suck it up and run the 18 on Sunday anyway. But after much back-and-forth, I decided it was best to sit the race out. There's another half marathon in Crystal City, MO in a few weeks that fits into my schedule perfectly. I've never run it before so it will be a fun replacement race.
I was planning to use the Vallmeyer half to guage my fitness by comparing my performance to past times on that course. Since I'm not running the race, I decided to see what kind of time I could post on today's 10-miler.
I pushed the pace from the start and about 1/2 mile into the run, I thought I might be overdoing it. I felt like I was running a 5k and that's not a good feeling when you have 9.5 miles to go. But I decided to just wait and see how things developed. Sometimes when I start a run too relaxed and slow, I don't end up picking up the pace later. And sometimes when I go hard from the beginning, I'm able to maintain or increase the speed the whole time. I was feeling the strain of the effort through the first mile-and-a-half but I decided to honor the Two-Mile Rule and see if I could settle down.
The rest of the run was magic! My breathing settled down and I fell into a high-tempo rhythym. My stride wasn't too long, I was turning my feet over quickly, and I was just cruising! I also played around with my arm carriage and lowered my arms into a swing that just seemed to lock everything into a smooth, fast, gait. My breathing started to get a little labored a couple of times but I was able to recover every time and fall back into cruise control.
I ran 10.25 miles at an average of 6:34 per mile and I felt great! My personal best in a half marathon was last year's Disneyland Half. I averaged 6:31 per mile on a flat course with a ton of adrenaline. Today I averaged 6:34 with hills in the first and last two miles and no one to race.
Now that's more like it!!!
Goal For The Day: Middle Distance.
Distance: 10.25 Miles.
Time: 1:07:21. 6:34 Avg. (6:22, 6:19, 6:35, 6:35, 6:27, 6:28, 6:31, 6:35, 6:36, 7:02, 1:46*).
Route: To Rte 66/2 Laps/Home.
Conditions: 63 degrees. 4:00PM.
Notes: I didn't even look at my watch after mile 5. I didn't want to know. I just tried to stay in the zone and go by the feedback from my body. It worked out pretty well today! I don't think I could do that for another 16 miles, but I definitely had a lot left in the tank when I stopped. Just to compare recent Middle Distance training runs, here are my times on 10-mile runs:
9/13 - 10 mile time = 1:11:08 - ran 10.00 miles total - 7:07avg.
9/15 - 10 mile time = 1:11:35 - ran 10.00 miles total - 7:09avg.
9/20 - 10 mile time = 1:10:03 - ran 10.31 miles total - 7:00avg.
9/23 - 10 mile time = 1:05:35 - ran 10.25 miles total - 6:34avg.
Daily Miles: 10.25 Miles.
Run - 346.65 Miles.
Bike - 144.45 Miles.
Swim - 10,050+ meters.