20 miles, 9:21 pace, (3:07:18 total time)
It is funny, this weekend’s run was basically the same pace as last weekend’s run (9:22 vs 9:21) but it was two completely different runs. I had decided ahead of time that, since I am planning on doing 3 20+ mile runs prior to my race in Fargo, I would actually listen to the ‘experts’ on this run. That is, I’d run it a solid 45-60 seconds/mile slower than MP. That put my goal pace for this run around 8:45. For the most part while running I hit that pace. I also allowed myself to walk when I needed to and take a quick bathroom break where I also refilled my water bottles.
The run started out really well. My knee wasn’t hurting at all and I was holding a really good pace at ~8:30. I ran this pace for the first 6 or so miles. One thing I noticed when I got out of the neighborhoods and alongside of a major road is that the wind was really blowing against my back WHILE I was running. Anyone who has run any significant distance knows this is a bad sign. Since I am running at about 7.5 mph, in order to feel the wind at my back, it means that the wind has to be at least 14 mph+. Suck. I probably should have picked up the pace a little bit in anticipation of the wind on the return, but I wanted to be “good” and run my slower long run pace.
The first 10 miles passed without incident. I was feeling really good, my knee was feeling good, all was right with the world. However, when I turned around and had to run into the wind, I ran into a brick wall. I decided not to wear my heart rate monitor – and I am glad that I didn’t. I think that I would have been around 200 bpm for the last 10 miles! I was able to tough it out for the first 4 miles or so, but after a while I couldn’t keep the pace and needed to rest. My knee started to ache a bit so I took a few breaks here and there to try to give it a break from the onslaught of the wind.
I also found that I am not used to running in relative heat (65 degrees) because I burned through all of my water after 14 or so miles. So, like I said before, I stopped to refill my bottles and pee which seemed to take a lot more time than it should have – 4 or 5 minutes.
So, all in all this was a pretty good long run. Not a ‘quality’ run since it was so much slower than I would have liked it to be, but still good to get my legs moving for a solid 20 miles.