Well, this evening was just downright pleasant as I nailed my long run of 8 miles. I was reading an article in Runners World about mantras and self talk that runners use to get through a tough training session or race. Tonight, on the 4 miles out, I kept hearing Steeeve saying, "Train SMART!!!" The mantra kept me steady and patient for about 6 miles. I was feeling pretty good after 6 but much of the return trip back to Memorial Park is uphill and I was fighting the urge to start walk breaks. So, I started hearing SteveS and June in my ear saying, "Work hard!!!" I actually said it out loud several times on the way back. So, that pretty much describes this awesome workout for me. Train SMART!!! Work HARD!!!
My route took me out of the park from the tennis center and east on Memorial Drive. Then, to the goat trails until I hit 4 miles, then back. I stayed conversational and steady for the whole run and had plenty in the tank to pick it up a bit the last 1.5 miles. Here's what it looked like:
Total distance - 8 miles
Venue - Memorial Park to the Bayou and back
Splits - 14:30 / 14:39 / 14:55 / 14:54 / 15:11 / 15:28 / 15:10 / 14:03
Average pace - 14:52
Yes, those are some slow splits but those times are true. I would have included walk breaks but I didn't take one single walk break. I did however stop briefly for water just about every chance I got but kept the clock running through the water breaks. I believe in truth in recording on these long runs. When I looked at more granular splits like quarter mile splits (you can do that with SportTracks), I could see that for the most part, I kept a pretty consistent 14:25-14:40 pace.
So, tonight really came together for me and so did week one of marathon training. In case anyone misunderstood, I never said I was cutting back to 4 days. I said I was going to be get through the week and see how I felt, then possibly adjust to 4 days if I was too run down. Well, I did my 5 days. I was only short 1.7 miles from my Friday turned Saturday turned 3.3 mile 5-miler. Confused? I must say that after tonight's 8 miler and subsequent ice bath, I don't feel too bad. I'm feeling pretty good about the 5-day a week plan but remain flexible as I continue to listen to my body.