Start time: 2/21/09,12:00pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 16 miles
Average pace: 9:38min/mile
Total Miles For February: 60 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 105 miles
Ok, for this 16-miler I decided to just stick with the W&OD Trail, running from marker 3.5 in Arlington up to marker 11.5 in Vienna, since I knew that there would be water fountains on the trail at several places (near markers 6.0, 7.0, and 11.5) so I wouldn’t have a repeat of the disaster from two weeks ago. As for the run itself, well…
No calf cramps like last time, yay! I hydrated a bit better this time through, and I also took an extra potassium supplement in the morning. Maybe it was that, maybe it was because most of the second half is at a slight downhill grade (although there are still some uphill portions), but for whatever the reason, no real issues on that front.
I finished the run without needing to stop, save for refilling my water bottle. Also good and makes me feel a lot more confident on that front.
All the ice is finally melted off the trail, and while it was cold out, it wasn’t as frigid as earlier in the week. All this cold weather dodging and such has made me (at this point) vow to not train for any more spring marathons, mind you.
And a faster pace than my 14-miler, which was admittedly the cramp-o-matic run, but still.
My slowest 16-miler in three years. It was at least faster than the pace for 2005 (12:00) and 2006 (10:00), but not as good as 2007 (8:59!) or 2008 (9:31). I worry that 2007 is when I peaked in terms of running, to be honest.
Crappy last two miles, although since they were new mileage that’s not any particularly large red flag. I’d have been happier with some stronger times for them, but still, not as good as I’d hoped. I’d been hoping to not dip into the 10+ realm on this run.
I really don’t like this winter running, because getting up early and hitting the run then is an exercise in frozenness. Brrrrr. So instead I wait until a little later in the day, but it means by the time I’m done the majority of my Saturday is over.
Maybe I need to rethink my training strategy? It’s hard to say what’s wrong at this point. Just getting older? Not enough speed work? Lack of someone to train with? Honestly, the last one has definitely been on my mind. I saw that Pacers had a 16-miler scheduled for this morning and I’d thought about it, but it was at 8am (and I knew I would need more sleep, plus it was still going to be below freezing at that point in the morning)… and it’s actually really important for me to train for a marathon on my own this time. I’ve never done that before; it was AIDS Marathon in ’01-’06, and then Empowered & Fit in ’07 (plus ’08, despite the actual running of a marathon at the end of the program; stupid bronchitis). So I really need to train for one by myself to know that I can do it. I hope that sounds logical to someone besides me. Afterwards, maybe I’ll train for my fall marathon with E&F, or Pacers, or perhaps still on my own? I’m not sure. But I feel like I can’t buckle yet. This might ultimately be a mistake, but there’s only one way to really find out.
(9:25, 9:28, 9:12, 9:22, 9:46, 9:25, 9:19, 9:08, 9:29, 9:26, 9:44, 9:58, 9:53, 9:48, 10:17, 10:24)