One City Marathon Bound
My next marathon is just under a month away and that means one long run to go. Today’s run was just over 23 miles, but with our frigid temperatures it felt much longer. I chose to run from Newport News Park and through the Yorktown Battlefields. Each loop is about five miles, so I figured I would combine them to create two easy loops. Prior to setting out on my run this morning, I decided to hit the local running store for a balaclava. Our weather this year had been mild and this piece cold weather gear was unnecessary. Today was a different story. I woke up to temps in the upper teens and the running store did not open until 1000. This was two hours later than I wanted to start, BUT I am glad I waited. It was a sunny 30 degrees, but the wind chill made it feel 23 degrees or colder in the shade.
My run was going well, I had completed over ¾ of my figure eight loop when I stepped in a slushy puddle. Now my right foot was soaked and freezing. This is not how I wanted to start my second loop. After little bit, either my foot had adjusted to the wet soak or it dried out from the heat I was emitting from the crazy pace.
I have been trying to do my long runs at or near race pace (8:15). Prior to this year’s training plan, I have typically done an average 8:45 race pace. My training pace has always been around 90 seconds slower than my race pace. My goal for this year’s One City is to keep an 8:15 pace until around mile 20 and let loose (that’s the plan).
I have also been working on my stride this training cycle too. Using my Garmin foot pod to track my foot strikes; I am trying to keep about 180 steps per minute or higher. I have learned that a quicker cadence equals a faster pace. Unfortunately, it requires my legs to work harder too. I am thinking this trick has helped with my late stage cramps as well.
Life was going well…listening to my podcasts, consuming gels, and clicking off the miles. I was fortunate enough to see two herds of deer (my favorite animal), several large birds flying through the wind vortex in a one of the battlefields, and the icing on the cake was spooking a bald eagle. This majestic bird was about 20 yards off the path in the woods sitting on the ground. When I realized the loud noise, the eagle was lifting off the ground and flying through the trees. This commotion stopped me in my tracks. This bird decided to give me a fly by – not sure why, but I was glad it did.
My final few miles were uneventful. Dodging the melting ice, mud, and growing water puddles which were creating havoc on my hip flexors. Today was a great day!
Today’s run was fueled with four Honey Stinger gels, blue Powerade, and a couple of SaltSticks. This seems to be one of the keys to killing my cramps. My finish snack was a Honey Stinger waffle.
I am looking forward to Newport News 2016 One City Marathon.