The weather yesterday was way better than the forecast. Some thunder rumbled through about 6:00 a.m., but I wasn't getting up until about 6:30, so it didn't matter. I started running just before 9:00 a.m., and it was sunny and cool. I only went about 3/4 of a mile before I realized I was overdressed, and I headed back to the car to shed some clothes.
Last Saturday, only a week after a tough 50K, my plan was to run 20 at a deliberately easy pace, forcing myself to go slowly. I did the 20 that day in 3:36. My plan for yesterday was to run purely by feel. I wanted to just enjoy the run, and if I felt strong, maybe I'd push somewhat late.
The miles just seemed to fly by yesterday. I hit the 10 mile mark a bit slower than a 10mpm pace. I was cruising most of the flats and downs and walking the ups. I also walked for about a minute every 30 minutes or so, to take a gel and get a brief rest. My running speed was about 9:15-9:30 when I was running.
About mile 12, I realized that I felt pretty good and only had 8 miles to go. I was going to stop by my car at mile 15 for some Heed and gels, and I dropped my pace a little bit on the way there. I got to my car dead-on a 10 pace for the 15 miles. Considering how much walking I'd done, I was happy with that.
In the last 5 miles, I started to push the running pace while I was running, but I still took uphill walking breaks. By mile 17, I was running at an 8:30 or better pace most of the time. In the last mile, after walking the last big hill of my route, I dropped to a 7:40 pace for a while. I felt great the entire run, and finished in 3:17:01, about 19 minutes faster than last week.
This was my 8th run of the calendar year of 20 or more miles, and it was a very encouraging run.
I'm not sore or overly tired today, but I am taking a rest day, with an ultra coming up on Saturday. This week, I'll do a mini-taper for Saturday's race:
Monday: Lift in the morning, easy 4-5 at night
Tuesday: Easy hour in the morning, tempo at night
Wednesday: Lift in the morning
Thursday: Easy 4-miler in the morning
Saturday: DRB 50K
Unless I have a terrible day next Saturday (it might be pretty warm next weekend), I should run the DRB course way faster than my last place finishing time from 3 years ago. I might finish last again, but I should be faster.