Saturday, July 25, 2009

Vacation Time

Well almost. I'm heading to Gulf Shores with the family and my brother's family. It'll be nice to run someplace relatively flat so that I can work on keeping a constant pace. This week I worked on building mileage, and after getting in a little over 40 miles this week, I would say that I was successful. For now, my training schedule is 40-50 miles every 2 weeks and then a short week of 20-30 miles. The long weeks will be geared towards doing long mileage and building endurance, and the short weeks will be devoted to speed and recovery.

With this in mind, my time in Gulf Shores will fall in a long mileage week. Without the hills to navigate, I should be able to work on keeping a pretty steady pace. I think a pace of 9:30-9:45/mile for the marathon should be do-able as my overall pace is about 9:45/mile right now. However like Nashville is hilly, so too does my pace fluctuate. I wouldn't mind so much if my pace started out slowly and got progressively faster (otherwise known as negative splits in runner-speak). Unfortunately, my pace now starts slow and then rises and falls each mile with no discernable pattern. Knowing the routes that I run, I can attribute many of the dips in speed to where I am on a hill.

Today's run was a fair example of this. I did a 7 mile route, out and back, along HWY 100 from my house to just past my brother's house, pictured here. This route is loaded with hills and I had to speed up a lot on the backend to make it under 10:00/mile. This was brutal, and I could really feel the burn as I hit mile 12 and 13. Still, I did alright, but man, am I tired now!

Hopefully a flatter route will give me a better idea of conditioning and how much I can push myself before the marathon. All right, the kids are bugging each other, so I guess it's time for me to intervene to keep them from killing each other. Later kids.

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