This morning I had grand plans to knock out 15 miles for my long run. I decided to go to the PWP and run the main drive (11.2 miles) and then the remaining 4 miles on the Boulevard. Yeah, that was a great idea in theory. In reality, I woke up lat e because I determined it was too cold for me to run. Now you may like to run in the cold. I don't like to run in the cold. I hate to run in the cold. Yes, I am a big, whiny baby. Deal with it. My hope was to keep my pace between 8:30-9:00/mi on average. There's too many hills later on for me to keep that kind of pace, but if I could keep it fast on the down hills, that would help my average pace.
I started from the front of the park and trudged up the first set of hills. I started out pretty well and managed to stick with my game plan for 6 miles with an occasional potty break and short walk up some steep climbs. At mile 7, my lack of training was starting to show. It didn't help that about that time I was hitting Lunsford Hill, a particularly hateful and mean-spirited hill to me. I trudged it half way up Lunsford Hill, when I had to throw in the towel and walk for a minute. From there, you can guess the rest of it. I would try to pick up my pace again with varying degrees of success and just as many failures. At my worst, my pace dropped to a 10:45 for mile 9. After that, I reclaimed some speed as I hit the down slopes back down to a 9:10. I gave up on the last 4 miles as I was going to be late getting back home, and honestly, I was just dog-tired.
My average pace ended up being 9:21/mi for 11 miles. I didn't hit the pace I wanted and I didn't run nearly as far as I needed to run. Still, I can't complain about the run. It was a hard course and my time was decent, though disappointing. It does mean that I need to re-adjust my expectations for the marathon though. Before this run, I was hoping for a 3:30:00 marathon, 8:00/mi. Now, I think that a 8:30/mi-8:45/mi is probably more realistic. I have about 3 more weeks left of training before the full, so I'm doubtful that this will change. Now I just have to explain that to my brain. Sadly that is a losing battle.