Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Best Run of the Summer - Does that mean I have been doing it all wrong?!?!

Wednesday is the last chance for my giveaway - help your shoes and enter!

So as I alluded to in past posts, Saturday I had an amazing run with Mary from SistersRunningtheKitchen.  She had to do 16 and I had to do 11.  So the plan was for her to start and then I would meet up with her at Mile 5 and we would continue the rest of the way together.  The only problem....pace.  Isn't it always the problem?  And I don't know about you but it is pretty awful when you find out you are not the same pace as someone you really want to run with and then comes the questions can someone speed up or slow down and are you a match?  And then it gets worse if you decide it just is not going to work and you feel like a complete jerk?  Has this ever happened to anyone but me? I always try to just go with it, after all I am running for fun!!! But sometimes the paces are so different that you risk injury and that is where I have to draw the line.

Ok, that was a bit of a digression.  So anyway, Mary who is an AMAZING marathoner, who I can only hope to some day come close to, plans to do her long runs around 9:15-9:30 (i think) and I try to do 8:30s or less.  At first we thought, we would just go back and forth between times and paces but then I started asking Mary more and more about why her long runs were much slower than her goal marathon pace.  Well, folks I guess I missed the whole boat on that whole Run Slower to Get Faster idea. Like really missed this one.  Nice Steph, real nice.  I could not understand how Mary could do her long runs a minute or plus slower than her marathon pace and still achieve her goal on race day.  She voted the power was in the taper (and that and the speed work during the week).  She told me how she tried to run her first marathon training at faster speeds and come race day her body was too beat up and tired. It was not fun anymore and she was exhausted.

This, intrigued me.  So I told her I wanted to give it a go, slow and steady!  And off we went chatting about everything and anything, the miles really ticked by. I could hardly believe it when she said it was time to turn around.  At some points, I did not even realize we were going to fast and so we slowed down.  I didn't feel like I needed an extra energy shot or too much water (although a pee break would have been nice, no luck there I am not a squatter sorry, i am scared of bugs TMI?).  Anyway, by the time we finished I had had a blast! Yes I was ready to be done but I had a huge smile on my face (and I was not even tired later on in the day).  I had gone 11 miles and it was my best run since the beginning of June!!! Hey, maybe this girl has something here!  In the end, we did go back and forth in pace haha going 8:30-9:00ish back and forth without even knowing it. Mary said this was her fastest run in weeks. I felt so bad  but she promised that she felt good and ok.

So Mary pointed me in the right direction of some good reading material and I have been trying to digest it all but it is difficult. One thing that is clear according to the greats Hal Higdon and McMillian I am running my long runs WAY too fast.  In fact,  depending on what previous race time I look at I should be running an 8:50 to 9:50 pace or a 9:08 to 10:08 pace as opposed to 8:15 to 8:30 like I have been gaming for, uuhhhh oops??!?!  This weekend we did 8:47ish and I could not have been happier. Running was fun, enjoyable, and manageable.

So where to now?  Well, where else? Off to talk to the PT/Coach and see where I have gone wrong!  Please tell me I am not the only one who missed the boat on this, but probably am eeekkk

Ooo btw here is a pic of Mary and I post run - doesn't everyone look this good right after their runs?!?
Ok so maybe it was not right after the run but it was close.  Actually right after run went something like this...

Ok, so maybe not ALL of that...well..hmmm maybe, you decide..

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