In my years of running, I've always eyed the 100K mark with both a measure of envy and fear. 100 kilometres is a long distance, about 62 miles, and I've never hit that number during marathon training.
Of course, then I decided to ramp up to the Pfitzinger 70 mile program, and this week calls for 62 miles. I'm about to get very familiar with this territory.
Week's run has gone quite well, and I topped it off today with my 18 miler. One thing I'm making a huge effort is to run these runs at a strong pace. Years ago, I would target my long runs according to heart rate. A lot of them would come in the 5:25K or 8:30 mile range. In 2007, my 20 milers were done at around 8:18 to 8:23 mile pace. This past winter, my long runs leading up to Flying Pig were 8:06 and 8:01 (and a 30K /18.7 mile race at 7:17 pace).
So all my long runs, I'm trying to get comfortable with sub 8 minute miles. Today, it was nice out, not too hot, and I set out with an easy pace for the first three miles, then I ramped it up. Total time of 2:22:48 with average pace of 7:52. The heart rate did creep up as it heated up and I ended up with an average of 154 bpm. I did take two walk breaks and I should have drank more water or Gatorade.
Back to the 100K, I knew in my last two miles of today's run that I'd surpass it. It feels good to get that mileage in, and it really didn't feel like I spent the entire week running, although I did.