Monday, 15 August 2011

Death march

My mishap on Thursday prompted me to switch two of my runs. I did my five mile recovery run, originally scheduled for Saturday, on Friday and on Saturday I did a twelve mile run, originally scheduled on Friday. With an eighteen miler with ten at projected marathon pace scheduled for Sunday I had decided to take the twelve miler on Saturday a little easier than scheduled. However, conditions were good on Saturday. Courtesy of heavy thunderstorms the temperatures came down to the low twenties celcius and I knocked out twelve miles in average mile splits of 07:43 with an average heart rate of 146. I feared I might suffer the consequences of this on Sunday but decided it was worth exploiting what were easily the best conditions of the summer. The run statistics also reflected the conditions and was the best set of numbers I have had all summer.
On Sunday, normal meteorological service was resumed and when I left for my run it was approaching 30C/90F, with high humidity. To keep HR for the first eight miles below 140 I was running mile splits greater than 09:10. On Saturday a HR of about 140 was spitting out splits just south of 08:00. Mercifully it cooled a little as I approached the marathon paced section of the run and I had decided that I would not let the HR go to far above 160 for this section and ideally keep it just below 160. This worked okay for the first two or three miles and I felt comfortable enough and confident I could do ten at that effort level. However four miles in and the legs began feeling very heavy, a combination of Saturday's effort and the heat and humidity was underming my performance.. I had at this point taken two GUs and at least a litre of electrolyte drink. During miles five and six of the projected marathon effort my legs felt increasingly like they were running through mud. About a quarter mile into the seventh mile I relented and decided I would do the final 3.7x miles at recovery pace and I took my third GU to help me on my way. Rather like the projected marathon pace miles this also did not go according to plan. I struggled to maintain eleven minute mile pace and was feeling pretty crappy. I managed to trudge through the last few miles and completed the eighteen miles in an average mile split of 09:02, making Sunday the slowest long run ever! Roll on September!


Grellan said...

Sounds rough Westley. I remember abandoning a pregression run with 2 miles left to go and like you finding it very difficult to maintain recovery pace - and I didn't ave the heat and humidity you have.

Brian said...

I couldn't agree more! I'll always have a little negative reaction to September left over from the days when there was such a thing as "Summer Vacation", but as a runner always look forward to the turning of the calendar to September, and even moreso October and November.