The original plan for today was to do 18 miles on the hills around Superstition Mountain but that did not seem like such a good idea even as I was heading off to bed last night. Not that I wasn't capable of it but rather its just the having to drive 20 minutes to go running was something I really wasn't in the mood for. Besides that's lost sleeping time.
Still I left my alarm set for 5 am and when the time came I decided to take the extra sleep. In actuality, I still could have done it since it was forecasted to be a cool day in the desert but I had my mind made up to do my usual long run route. After a smoothie, power coffee, some surfing the interwebz and a good warmup, I was out the door and before 7:30.
It was a perfect morning for a run with temps just cracking 60 and a light breeze but a tad bit of guilt was there that the 18 flat miles I was going to do were not a good substitute for the 18 hilly ones I was passing up. Then it occurred to me that 20 miles would be an acceptable substitute.
Mile 1 was a nice warmup to get everything moving and from there the goal was to stay in the sub-10 minute range. Also now that we're into May I need to focus on faster pace over HR on my long runs if I have any hopes of nailing a 7:35 pace over 26.2 in the next 4 months. Fortunately I've built a nice aerobic base so I was pretty comfortably around 137 bpm for the majority of the run, especially for the first 13 miles or so. This is a good sign, as was the bunny that crossed my path around mile 3.
It wasn't until I was 9 miles in that the faster pace started to make my legs feel a bit on the heavy side. BBW tried to convince me to cut the run short but I was having none of it. You never get that second wind if you don't run past you're first wind. Even so I was still able to maintain a good pace in the 9:40s and it wasn't until mile 13 that I turned my first 10 minute mile (10:00 on the button) and would remain in the low 10s for the remainder of the run.
The next few miles were getting harder and I had to remind myself that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. By mile 17 I was starting to bonk with a 10:33 but passed up the chance to end the run at 18. I was committed to 20 and told myself that the hard miles now will make for easier miles down the road. I also told myself that I needed to pick up the pace for 18 and 19 and used what I had left in the tank. As I completed 19 I was pretty well gassed and happily cut my pace way down for the final cool down mile.
In the end I am glad that I opted for 20 today as it advances my training by a week and can jump to 22 miles next Saturday. It's all about them miles now so I'll take them while I can. Now it's time to have a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs that Christine is preparing after her 5 mile walk/run today. After that we're just going to relax. As much as I'd like to do the Night Run with the rest of the AZ crew, it's just not in the plan especially with another 10 in the morning.
Week ending May 9th - 43.0 miles