Running & Good Times

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.
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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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One comment on “One City Marathon Bound”

  1. 50in50marathonquest says:

    Great run brother…that’s some tough conditions. Interesting you run at close to race pace on long runs – I’ve felt that I’ve always ran my long training runs too slow and struggle to close the gap on race day so I’ve switched to targeting about 30 seconds below target pace but throw in some LSR/Pace mixes. Also, going to try the fast finish concept on long runs for the next cycle. I’ve been thinking about the foot pod as well, just trying to decide if it’s worth it for me. Cheers!

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