Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008 [22M]

Bay Trail to Burlingame. I really needed some sleep today and slept in until noon. I didn't get out until 2PM but it was a rather cool day so I didn't have any issues going long at that time. I started from home and crossed over 101 to the trail along Marina Lagoon down Hillsdale Blvd. The plan was to head north on the bay trail and do an 11 mile out and back, basically a slightly extended version of the 21 miler I had run a couple of weeks ago. For the first time I experimented with eating some gels along the way since I'll need to get used to those as part of my marathon preparation. I had no idea how many and how often I should take them and figured I'd start with a couple of gels and take one every 50 minutes. My plan as far as pace was to get out at whatever pace felt comfortable and progressively run faster on the way back, getting close to marathon pace by the end. I made the turn after 1:16:35, so I averaged just under 7:00 pace on the way out. I wasn't feeling that great at the start and was a bit worried that this could end up being a rough day but after 4 or 5 miles my legs loosened up and I was comfortably covering mile after mile. It was a bit windy on the way out so I had the wind on my back as I turned around, which made it easier to pick up the pace. I wasn't trying to force the pace at all but I was getting more into it as the run progressed and didn't have much trouble getting my legs to move faster. I only made a concious effort to run faster in the last 3 miles and was running low 6s, with the last mile or so somewhere close to 5:40 - 5:50 pace. I wound up back in 2:25:45, so 69:10 for the way back, averaging under 6:20 pace. My legs were obviously tired by the end but I wasn't completely spent. The last half of the run was pretty solid and I wasn't dying at the end, instead I was able to get down to a brisk pace. I don't know what effect the gels had but I think at least they helped a bit mentally. This was my longest run ever and it's really encouraging that I made it through without any problems. I'll probaly try to get up to 23-24 before CIM and I'm getting more confident that I can handle the marathon distance. The only question is how fast can I get myself to run it. 

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