I like the 20 mile training run.
It's a warm up, a test, and an affirmation all in one. Though I like and respect the Galloway method of run-walking, and it was useful for me to have done a 26 mile training run prior to running my first full, I think I'm best off if I limit myself to 20s as my long. It just feels easier on the body.
Today was the last of those prior to running Detroit. I've done three prior this training season- one just before jaunting off to California, as well as in the two weeks preceding this one. I think my average paces for them were 9:15, 11, and 10:30- the second two slower because I was running with my marathon training class.
Anyway, this time I ran with my friend K~, who's significantly faster than I am- though she's not actually signed up for a marathon this year. Running with her, I was pretty sure that I wouldn't follow the plan I so carefully devised, but I figured as long as I didn't get injured, I'd be okay.
Anyway, here's the breakdown-
Avg HR: 154
We pretty much talked about everything, from politics to family to death, and the miles flew by. On the one hand, it makes it harder to get into that "zone" where everything fades and it's just you, your stride, and the burning in your lungs. On the other hand, it's so much more rewarding to build lasting friendships while out on the run- it's part of what makes running running to me. I'll save my best efforts for the races.
Of course, I came close to following the plan in that I did the first mile in 8:51, the second in 8:27, and pretty much all the rest hanging out around 8:00- some a little faster, most a bit slower.
I also worked on the running while drinking from a cup technique. Still something to practice, but I'm getting better- I only spilled water on myself a couple of times!
Lastly, because I felt I had earned it, I purchased the stick to ease my poor, battered muscles. I swear I had a knot in my left calf muscle about the size of a golf ball!
'Twas a beautiful day for a run. An excellent time running. And I think I learned that I could run a pretty good time in Detroit if I stay uninjured and keep my focus.