Saturday, March 15, 2008

71 Days Left Until Ottawa

It's been a good full week of training, back working hard towards Ottawa, now just 70 days away. I worry whether there is enough time to train to meet my goals, having had the setback of the flu in an already aggressive plan to run a 3:50 marathon in such a short time.

My goal today was to complete 12 miles, with miles 5 through 10 (six of the twelve miles) as close to 8:44 per mile (my goal race pace) as I could. It was snowing heavily enough that giant, wet flakes piled up on my cheekbones and eyelashes. For the first hour, I could not look straight out and ahead. I wish I had a picture, because I sure know what it felt like. At other times, it was blowing hard enough to make the pace a struggle. Effort was a poor gauge of how fast I was running. All of this piled on top of some gentle inclines (see above elevation chart for my run today) meant it was great practice trying to get to my race pace right and stay there.

Nonetheless, I met the goal: 8:38, 8:40, 8:40, 8:44, 8:41 and 8:31 were my splits for the miles that counted. Other than a swig of Gatorade at mile 10, I did not walk at any time. I did find that the 8:44 pace, for those times when it was flat and I wasn't running into a strong headwind, felt easy and comfortable. Pleased with the effort, I still wonder if its enough to do that 4.4 more times with no breaks for the marathon. Maybe if it's 50 degrees, totally flat with a whisper of a breeze (hahaha, not likely).

On the bright side, nothing really hurts and I'm finally fully recovered from the flu.

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