Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Number Crunching

No pictures from today so this one of Porty promenade was pinched from someone's Facebook page

Another Wednesday off. This time I thought I would do a "marathon pace" run - or a run with a 5 or 6 mile section at marathon pace. The point of this is to try to get a proper feel for the pace you want to go. I've done it before other marathons and its always a bit daunting because its so much harder to generate this pace on your own with only the cheering in your own head, than it is on actual race day. And if you can't manage it at all that's kind of a downer 8-(.

It was a perfect morning for running; bright, cool and nearly windless. Still I put off going running until I realised I had the fear. What was the fear? Well what is marathon pace this time? What's the best I can realistically hope to do? I'd kind of like to do 3.35, I'd be happy with that. I looked up the McMillan Running Calculator and based on my time for 10 miles at Lasswade I should be able to do this. Thanks Greg McMillan. And what pace is this? 8.12 pace. (Check out the Cool Running Pace Calculator to work out your pace and your splits.) So I set out to do 10 miles with a 5 or 6 mile section at 8.12 pace or better. I let myself have 2 miles grace to get warmed up and get most of the road crossings out the way and then reluctantly raised the pace. The first mile felt like hard work but then I was well under 8.12 pace, and the next mile flowed a bit smoother. The Porty Prom was fairly quiet still but people were cottoning on to the fact it was sunny and it was beginning to get busier. It can be a nightmare to run along when the sun comes out because suddenly its filled with dogs, small children, old people, children on bikes and scooters and  people in wheelchairs so I thought I should keep going to 6 miles before turning around which would mean I'd have finished the "pace" section of my run by the time I was getting back onto the Prom. To cut a long story short I was hitting all my numbers with room to spare and feeling the best I'd felt in a while. I'd run 8 miles by the time I got back to the Prom which was filling up with people as predicted, but as I only had to jog now it was fine. I'd had half a notion that I might stop and get a coffee and a bun on the Prom as I have run through here so often and never really stopped and participated, but the thought of eating a lot more at home drew me onwards. Plus it was warm running but I don't think it was at all warm for standing or sitting still.

12 miles in all, the last 4 thinking mainly about lunch.

Maybe Lochaber won't be all that bad after-all!

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