Sunday, April 8, 2007

Unchartered Territory

Feeling the effects of nearly a week's worth of Passover food has taken a toll on me. You see, nearly everything is a starch and too much starch can leave you feeling a bit larger around the waist. My diet has been right on this year...well with the exception of one little incident. So feeling a bit guilty of gaining a lb or two made me want to reach deep down and surprise myself with a big workout.

Today's workout was a half marathon (plus a little more). The longest run I've completed before was 12 miles, which I did last summer. I simply have had no reason to go that far. My focus has been Olympic distance triathlon races, so anything beyond 10 miles doesn't provide much value for my focus. My next race however is a 10 miler, more for fun than anything else, but a race nonetheless. So I figured a nice long run today would give me some more base miles under my belt for when I need it in a few weeks for the 10 mile race. The focus of today's run again was being "smooth and steady". Goal pace was anything under 9:00/mile, but closer to 8:30/mile if possible. The results were pretty good:

Distance: 13.24 miles
Time: 1 hour 54 minutes
Pace: 8:48/mile

Taking a few pages out of the National Marathon and Marine Corp Marathon courses, I developed a course that takes me through a wide variety of terrain and scenery. As you can see by my course below, it consisted of some time in VA and DC through the scenic mall downtown to the Capitol, along the monuments, past Arlington Cemetery and Iwo Jima Memorial and back into my neighborhood in Arlington. Its always nice to pass through these important monuments and get an appreciation for the area I live in. Even though it was only 32 degrees, there were plenty of tourists out there enjoying the sights.
The run was pretty smooth up until Mile 10. So far this season, 10 miles is the farthest I have gone, so this makes sense. Miles 9.5 through 12 were all up hill with no real breaks, so it took its toll on both my legs and my pace. For the first 10 miles, I was averaging pretty close to 8:30/mile, but was up in the lower 9:00s during the later miles, so it picked up my average.

In all, a successful breakthrough to a new distance.

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