Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chesapeake and Ohio Steady Run

Time: 107:14
Distance: 17.5 mi.

Target: 3-4 miles warmup, 10 miles steady, 3-4 miles cooldown
Run: 3.75 in 24:20; 10 miles in 56:33 (28:45/27:48); 3.75 in 26:20

To make sure I got my long harder effort in this week, I decided to do it this morning. I also knew that the Chesapeake and Ohio Towpath would be the a great place to get in an out-and-back long run with measured miles, as I really had no idea how to pace this run based on effort. The goal was to get in 3-4 miles warming up and getting into the pace, 10 miles with the general target of working down to about 5:40 pace, and then running straight through with the same 3-4 miles cooldown.

The towpath runs between the Potomac River and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (on the right of the path here)

I started from where I parked near M Street in Georgetown and got worked down to about 6 minute pace by the time I hit the 4 mile mark on the path (~3.75 miles from the car, 24:20). I felt very comfortable running the first mile of the steady section in 5:50 and kept bringing it down from there. I ran the first 5 miles up to the turnaround point (which, while flat, has a consistent slight uphill grade) in 28:45 (5:45 average). I kept pushing the pace a bit on the way back, running 27:48 (5:34 average) with a few of the middle miles under 5:30. The total time for the 10 steady miles was 56:33 (5:39 average). I was fairly tired, and ran the cooldown 3.75 miles in 26:20.

These 9 mile markers indicated my turnaround point

I was generally happy with how I felt given that this was my first effort like this in my training cycle. I got into a good rhythm (despite hopping over two trees over the path) and was able to run through a side cramp in the 7th mile of the steady section. I didn't go to the well and stayed aerobic throughout the run. With a bit more sleep and better nutritional preparation I would've felt okay to go 2-3 miles longer hard without too much trouble. That is the pace I will have to average for the whole 'thon in order to run under 2:30. Yikes.

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