These longer runs in the evenings are killing me folks!
On the schedule yesterday was a 12 mile run - 5 miles easy followed by 7 miles at half marathon pace. Everything started out fine. I was back to my old trick of having to slow down during my first five miles. Nothing out of the normal there. I had a long way to go at a tough pace to follow. I hit mile 5 and stepped up the pace into the 9:30 range. Mile 6 check. Mile 7 check. Hmm. Breathing awfully hard. Slow down. Heart rate at 175. Slow down more. Mile 9 check. And then the wheels fell off the bus. All of a sudden my legs didn't want to work anymore. Shit - how am going to run a marathon if I can't even make it half way at a reasonable pace!?!?!? Final stats - 12 miles total. Last 7 at marathon pace. But that's misleading -I was fading rapidly at the end. My last mile was a swift 12:50.
I'm a little dejected today. My head is filled with doubts about a marathon. The miles and hours are turning in to drudgery. I find myself wondering if I should cut back a few miles here or a few minutes there. Sounds like it's burnout time. I'm trying my best to keep my head down and feet moving.
Then to be sure - there were several tactical mistakes made yesterday. First off, for some reason I thought that my HM pace was 9:15. Whoops! Only 30 seconds off! So, I went out too hot considering the conditions (10 mph headwind). Second were the headwinds. I really needed to ratchet things down a notch to compensate. And I can't help but think that diet (or lack thereof) is a factor here. I'm putting in a lot of miles late in the day. My diet has left a lot to be desired lately - both in quality and quantity. I've become an Otter Pop (yeah - that's right) freak lately. Hey- at 25 calories a pop they are yummy. And cold! Then, when I start thinking about quantity - I've been ravenously hungry the past few days, but I would bet that prior to my run, I may have had 1200 calories. And most of those were rice cakes with almond butter. Hardly enough to fuel my daily activity and a hard 12 mile run. And I'm definitely short in the protein department. I think I'll dust off Sparkpeople again and get back to some calorie tracking.
Enough of my rambling. What have I learned? Marathon training involves a lot more than just putting in some miles. To do this right I need to watch all my systems. Sleep. Diet. Rest.
On the plan today - 12 miles. I'm going to take it *way easy* and do a round the bay run tonight. If you see a blog entry tomorrow you'll know I finished!