Saturday, March 7, 2009
Best run ever!
I had my last big training test before my marathon at the end of the month and after feeling pretty crappy and sore yesterday afternoon after my 4 mile run in which I got some more blisters on my feet, was very wary heading into today. Add to that that this has been a long week with a couple early mornings in a row to finish it off and my nerves couldn't have been worse. But knowing it was today or never and that the idea of not getting in a long run today meant no more long runs before the marathon, I forced myself to get up at 6am, head over to the Mt. Vernon Trail and get started. I tried my new nutrition plan, 5 sports beans every 3 miles and a power gel every 5 miles, with water and gatorade whenever possible. That seems to be a major difference (plus the gatorade and 5 hour energy) in the quality of my long runs to this point. I started off feeling pretty terrible and sore, so much so that I slowed almost to a 9 min mile for my second mile, but quickly fell into my pace and was comfortable from there on out. I initially ran north from the bathrooms at Belle Haven, getting up to just about Slater Lane on the Trail, before turning around and heading back. At the car, I dropped off my running pants and long sleeve jersey as it was absolutely gorgeous running weather and took a swig of water and gatorade and headed back out again. I continued south until just past the 4 mile marker, marking off an additional four miles south, so that by the time I got back to the car I was at mile 16. Luckily, today is the Potomac runner's long run day at Mt Vernon, so they had water and gatorade out at a couple different locations. After another swig of gatorade and water and some more aquaphor for my now severely hurting nipples, I hit the trail again, heading north, but this time taking a detour out to the Lighthouse down by the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, then heading back into Old Town Alexandria for a bit more, before turning around to finish the final mile and a half. I finished mile 19 starting to feel a bit worn down, but decided to put in a final effort to see how quickly I could finish the run. Amazingly, I was able to finish the last mile in 7:47 min! Overall, I finished 20 miles in 2:46:19, good for a 8:19 min/mile pace, add in about 5 min for water and gatorade stops and still I was well faster than the pace I need to break 4 hours! Furthermore, it turns out that this was a personal record for 20 miles, beating my best previous time by 9 min!!! Furthermore, the first part of the run set PRs for fastest 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 mile runs!!! Afterwards, I stretched, chatting a bit with a runner I had seen on my run for a bit before heading home! I actually felt and still do feel great! My hips are a bit sore, as are my thighs, but overall I feel fantastic considering! I finished miles in 8:21, 8:58, 8:15, 8:24, 8:27, 8:25, 8:29, 8:08, 8:18, 8:11, 8:20, 8:07, 8:20 , 8:05, 8:14, 8:14, 8:20, 8:16, 8:34 then finishing with a 7:46 min mile.
This year, like last year, I will be riding for Mary Payton's Miracle - My friend Steve Kogos from Trigators informed me that his friend Joe's daughter, Mary Payton, was diagnosed a number of years back with Late Infantile Batten Disease. This is a disease with no cure, however, there are special experimental (and extremely expensive) treatments which have shown some significant signs of success! In order to assist with the costly treatments and research, Mary Payton's Miracle was created to raise money to find a cure, hopefully in time to save little Mary Payton as well as the many others affected by this terrible disease!