Sunday, April 16, 2006

foot pod still broken - long run 23 miles

Today's training: 23 miles, 5 lake loops, 4:07:02 (10:44 min/mi), avg 150 bpm/max 167

As the title says, the foot pod stopped working again. Argh.

I debated whether to do 20 today or 5 loops around the lake (23 miles). I did a couple of slow laps and then decided I was morally commited to do 23. Otherwise, I'd have just done 20 slowly and that just seemed a step back from last times training.

As it turns out I did a very slow 23 miles. I set the alarm for 150 for the first two laps. I inched it up to 152 for the third but shortly into the lap, I made it 155 and went to 160 for the fourth lap and 165 for the last. Here are the time (pace)/heart rate for each lap: 47:27 (10:19 min/mi)/141 bpm, 47:41 (10:22)/142, 48:44 (10:37)/147, 50:46 (11:02)/156, 52:23 (11:23)/160. As you can see, despite letting my heart rate climb by 19 bpm, I came to a crawl. On my 20-miler 3 weeks out from the last marathon, my fourth lap was 45:39 (9:55)/158 versus 50:46 (11:02)/156. I definitely seem to be in worse shape.

All in all, this is not a good sign for the marathon. I see no hope of making 4 hours. Today was perfect with temps in the mid-50's -- not likely in May. This course is also considerably easier. I'm thinking about bagging the marathon and just running the half. I believe I'll do a repeat of the staircase interval test next weekend and see where I am. (I won't go quite to the max pace though and I might use heart rate as a pacing guide. Something at 180 bpm should be enough.)

I did notice that my weight was 164 (about 3-4 pounds below normal) later that afternoon after drinking and eating a fair bit. I probably lost 5 pounds while running despite drinking much more than normal. Dehydration could be a significant contributor to the elevated heart rate.

One positive from today is that my legs feel remarkably good for having just run for four hours.

I ran 61 miles this week, which I believe is the most I've ever done.

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