Yesterday's 30K was a great long run, a confidence booster and told me I probably could have given more on the course.
It's the third time I've done this 30K. It was humid, threatening rain, but all in all, pretty good conditions to run in. I got to the race site with plenty of time to spare, (jogged over there) and bumped into a few other bloggers. My goal was to go for a decent pace, whatever felt strong but not quite racing. At first I thought it'd be 5 minute kilometres, but from the start, I really felt like going a bit stronger.
Out of the gates, I was pulling 4:50s, so decided to stick with that. It felt like the right pace -- really easy even -- but I thought I didn't want to risk going out if my body wasn't used to it. I have missed quite a few runs in the past two weeks, my long run last Sunday was kinda blah and I didn't want to bonk.
They did a new start to the course, kinda liked it. A nice outing to Cherry Beach area that took away an out-and-back portion they had done on the Beaches boardwalk. I was running comfortably, just getting into the groove. As usual, when I'm clicking on pace, my splits quickly fall into line. It was kinda nice. This is my home turf so I know the course pretty well.
There was a group doing 10-1s that kept on passing us, then would stop for a walk break. I still can't get my head around that method. I totally understand it, getting your heart down and recovering, but it doesn't quite feel right for me. In any case, these guys were going a little fast cause at the fourth time they passed me, they said they were '2 minutes ahead'. Even they acknowledged that wasn't good. That's the problem I find with walking then going up to pace. You don't get a sense of pace, and that doesn't really teach you long distance pacing. Anyways, after the fourth time I saw them stop, it was the last time I saw them. I took my first of two gels at the 35 minute mark.
11K - 15K:
We were entering into the Leslie Spit area. The wind was cooling things down and I was more or less running alone. A runner would run alongside me from time to time but IO was just focusing on my own pace and let it determine if we'd run together or not. I was targetting a pack ahead of me. Some people were starting to slow. In fact, other than a pair of runners who passed me at 4:35 pace, I was passed no more.
Decided at the half mark that I felt good, so felt comfortable enough to up the pace. There was no one to really pace off of, so I was just going for a stronger pace to test myself. It was only a few seconds faster but noticeable. I felt it was important to see if I could turn it up, even if it was just a little. It started raining, and I was really happy I put the bandaids over my nipples. Yes, it's a little embarrassing we have to, but I saw at least four other runners who haven't learned. They were bleeding. You really don't make that mistake twice. Took my second gel at 1:30 mark.
21 - 25K
We were making our way of the park when I passed Marlene's husband Mark. We just started chatting and I sort of forgot about pace but we really didn't slow down much. It was actually really nice to be able to chat and 'race', a good confidence boost for both of us. We caught up on our summers and training and probably a good 6 kilometres together. Getting darker and the rain was lessening a bit by then.
26K - 30K
My left calf was tweaking around this point, not a good feeling to be having. I made sure to hydrate properly. I think it was more of a expression of not having really done pace work recently. We were winding our way through Ashbridges Bay and I was really happy by the almost two hour mark that my cardio was holding just fine. On our way back to the last two miles, I told Mark that I had a little left in my tank I wanted to use up, so we said good bye and I ramped it up for the last bit. Was good to run it stronger to the end, trying to run 'on the edge' so I wouldn't cramp but still go out strong.
30 03:39 (not proper distance)
30K in 2:24:38 or an average pace of 4:50.
I was really pleased with this run. It's quite a bit slower than my race times for other 30Ks but I didn't really consider this a race-shape run. It was an awesome long run and a great confidence booster -- didn't lose that much fitness in the last few weeks. Marathon day is in eight weeks and I still have more than a month to build up to it.
Best part of this race -- beer with friends after, and a new use for a big sized medal. Beer coasters!