A.M. Started with Jeff, Daniel, Ted, and his son James. He used to be little James, but he is getting bigger. Ran the first 2 in 15:06 then started my very long tempo. The plan was to run the 10.1 course twice for the whole run tempoing the last 18.2 of it. No pace goal again, focus on running in a nice relaxed rhythm. I am quickly converting into the good rhythm goal/no pace goal religion. Pace goals are meaningless. You can run exact same pace in a workout and get very different results. If you force your way through it you learn to run tense. That is not what we want, we want to learn to run relaxed, and we cannot know in advance what pace will create the best educational experience on a given day at a given point in the run. Most definitely it will vary not only from day to day but from spot to spot in the run. It has to be by feel, we take the splits only for observation.
So at first I was running 6:00 pace, occasionally a little faster, and it felt just right, as fast as I could go without excessive muscle strain. I was concerned about that. 6:00 should have felt dog slow this early in the run, and it did not. I was expecting very miserable 6:10 later on if not worse. 33:11 total time at 5.05, then came back in 30:12 (1:03:23). At this point Jeff joined me on a bike and he had my magic bottle containing a special drink of evaporated cane juice from Costco diluted in water. 700 ml of water, about 10 teaspoons of cane juice. Keep it simple. I have a feeling that Powerade and Gatorade to meeting energy needs are what expensive brand name shoes are to injury prevention. There has to be something very simple and basic not associated with any brand name that will do a much better job. So I created my own mix in search of that and was trying it out today.
The arrival of Jeff created two positives. Having him around produced some excitement. So I had more adrenaline and the pace started to feel easier. Also, the sweetness of the drink produced a nervous system reboot to help that cause, followed up by the actual energy arriving 10-15 minutes later. I found myself hitting 84 second quarters from time to time and they did not feel miserable at all. At one point managed an 87 while drinking from the bottle. Jeff gave me the bottle at 10.5, and then every two miles. Got to 15.15 in 1:32:33 (29:11 for 5.05).
Felt strong in the next couple of miles, but then started to feel stale. So I started asking for the bottle more often, every half mile or so. That did the trick. I would lose a second during the bottle quarter, but then get back to pace. At that point I was going around 5:55 pace and felt I could make it home. With 0.5 to go Jeff started yelling at me, and I pushed harder. Did an 87 quarter followed by 83. Was surprised that a) I could do 83 at this point and b) even though I was running as hard as I could I felt relaxed.
So 2:02:09 for 20.2 miles, 6:02.8 average. Excluding the warmup, 1:47:03 for 18.2, 5:52.9 average. Last 10.1 in 58:46, 5:49.1 average. Do not recall my split at 7.1 exactly, but the last half marathon of the run would have been around 1:16:45.
I will give my new magic drink an A rating based on this experience.
P.M. 2 with Benjamin, Jenny, James, and Jared in 17:58. Julia ran 3 miles earlier with Sarah.