Monday, January 22, 2007

18 Miles

Distance: 17.58 miles
Time: 2:48

What a difference a week makes. It was still a cold morning for our 18 miler but not as cold as last week. The news had made a big deal about how warm it would get during the weekend, so I took that as a sign that I can wear shorts. I did, and I was fine during the run, but as soon as I stopped running and the sun played peekaboo behind the clouds, I froze my ass off.

The run was tough not because of the weather. The weather was actually perfect. It was just one of those bad days where you start off tired and never improve. It was an ordeal just to get myself to the next walk break--and this was definitely a run where I appreciated a walk/run approach. There are times, especially now that I can confidently call myself an intermediate runner, when I feel like I don't need to take as many walk breaks as others. I still take them, of course. I'm a wuss and will welcome any excuse to be comfortable, but I think I can manage with fewer walk breaks. In fact, during my recent half marathons I've played around with not taking a walk break until four or five miles into a race. Even after that I only take them every mile, so it works to between a 7:1 and 8:1. But on Saturday, though, every walk break was welcome relief.

Our time was still under our recommended training pace of 10 minutes per mile, but compared to last week we slowed down some. And it wasn't even a full 18 miles (17.58 according to Sean's Garmin). My legs felt like they feel near the end of the marathon, when you just want to keep moving or else your muscles will cramp up. At that point there is no third or fourth gear, just neutral and you're coasting along hopefully on a downhill.

When I finished all I wanted to do was sit--actually, lie down--and have someone bring me a cup of coffee. Unfortunately I didn't get my coffee until three hours later, but boy, was it good. Later that evening Liz had her beer party and she raised an amazing $1,100. I had some mighty tasty beer but remained fairly sober. Good times.

This week ought to be a recovery week for me. I'll try to dial it down a little. My knee feels a little tweaked, and I need to massage my calves. They're mighty sore and can use some pampering or abuse. For Saturday we're scheduled for 8 miles and the following week is the half marathon. Goal time: 1:42.

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