Sunday, March 12, 2006

Long runs are fun

Perhaps the non-runner won't understand but when the weather changes for the better with sunny blue skies and light winds it's just wonderful to get outside and feel the wind in your hair from moving your body along under your own power. This is a picture I took on the way home of Saint Croix Island an international historic site just up the river. The key points to note are:
  1. blue sky
  2. calm clear water, little or no wind
  3. no snow
  4. is that a skunk crawling out of his hole?
So the gang all met at the usual spot near Boyden Lake for the Sunday morning run and we all had our happy faces on ;-) Why not? The starting temp at 7am was about 34F (1C) and only going up. Nobody was brave enough to wear shorts but we could've got away with it.

Looking up and down the road for cars! No actually we were thinking of Dawn and I had to explain that "No! She's not some kind of weirdo. This is just her view of runners in races as she likes to take her time and get her money's worth." Did I get that right, Dawn?
And we were off! Started out nice and easy for the 1st 30 minutes or so and then my twisted plan to run most of today's run at marathon pace kicked in. Jonathan decided to come with me at first and we could hear some debate in the background between Steph and Andrew. A few minutes later he caught up to us. I guess Steph told him to just go play and not hold back with her but I felt a little sad for her bringing up the back of the parade.

The marathon pace thing is an integral part of the Pfitzinger marathon plan with increasing doses of MP runs as part of the long run. The theory which makes total sense is that you can't expect to do on race day, that which you haven't practiced. The problem with the theory though is that it's not easy to just turn on a switch and run 10-15+ miles at this faster pace in a non-race situation on typically tired legs from all the training. However, today's run while not 'easy' was much more doable that trying to wing it alone.

The 'boys' keyed off me for the pace and I keyed off my breathing and heart rate monitor with a target of 150 beats/minute. With my max of 170 this equates to about 88% and is a little on the high side but experience has shown that I can hold 85-90% for the marathon distance. We cruised along quite comfortably on our moderately hilly route, slowing slightly for the hills but maintaining the effort (HR). I think the pace was a little easier for 'the boys' than me cause they were doing alot more gabbing than I was. I even asked if we should pick up the pace for all their talking but "no, this is at least 7:30!" Completed the 17 mile loop to the cars in 2:13 with 1:40 or about 13.5 miles at MP. A fancy shmancy GPS watch would have been nice but the effort meter said it was a good run over a hilly course. Finished up with a 1 mile cool down, reversing the route and picking up Steph who was just behind us and moving very well. Jonathan and Steph then continued on to finish off 20 miles while Andrew and I had a muffin (actually fig newton).

Wasn't that fun??

Total for the week was 74 miles, YTD=726, and only 5 weeks to go!


hunter said...

Very nice run! And it's good to run as a group!

Olga said...

This seems to be so easy the way you described it! And so much better with a good group of people capable of the same pace and keeping the talk coming:) Great effort meter you have!

Dawn - Pink Chick Tris said...

Thanks for thinking of me. You guys are a hoot. I really hope someday I do get over there to "join" you for a run. Okay so I'd likely only see you at the start and probably run shorter so I could see you at the end, but it would still be cool.

Until then its nice to know you think of me now & then. Love the photo.

Legs and Wings said...

It's nice you've got a bunch of running buds that can go the distance and keep the pace. Almost safe to say that spring is here. Sure was a nice weekend and a mild start to the work week. Take care.

Anonymous said...