A.M. Long run. Started at 6:10 AM. Ran with Matt Anderson and Jeff McClellan. Matt is a king of nerds. If I am a nerd, then he is nerd2 or even better, enerd - check out his web page. It is very interesting to discuss math or physics with him, he speaks Spanish, and he can ran a 1:13 half on top of it. What a guy!
We started at my house and ran on the trail towards the Provo Canyon and on to Bridal Veil Falls. The plan was 10 out easy, 10 back hard. Jeff was going to go just 7 out/7 back - he still has a post-marathon cold, and on top of that he got hit on the head yesterday playing flag football.
The course starts at the elevation of 4545 feet, rolls up 240 feet in the first 5 miles, then steadily climbs another 310 feet to the turnaround, and then the same thing backwards - steady down drop of 310 feet for 5 miles, then a rolling drop of 240 feet in the last 5.
It was dark. We warmed up/plodded along through the first 5 miles in 37:06. Then I announced a chase of the 7:00 mile guy with a goal to be within a minute of him by 10 miles. Sub 6:40 pace felt way too easy up the canyon, and there was no headwind, so I suspected we must have had some tailwind. We ran the next 5 miles in 33:13 hitting 10 in 1:10:19. Jeff turned around at 7. Matt said he did not want to run fast downhill on the way back. So after the turnaround I was alone.
My plan was to go by feel and experience the closing miles of a marathon as closely as possible. Interestingly enough, at least for me, at the end of a high mileage week, and after running 10 at an easy pace, when I try to run fast I feel like I am somewhere between 15 and 20 in a marathon race. So this was just perfect - start the tempo at that point in a marathon without having to run hard to get there.
When I turned around, I realized that I was right about the direction of the wind. I could definitely feel some headwind, although it was not a killer. I started out with a few quarters around 6:00 pace, and then finally warmed up into a 5:40-5:45 rhythm. Coming out of the canyon I slowed down to a few 1:28 quarters, and began to wonder if I was about to hit the wall in a few miles. But I was able to refocus and get back into 5:40-5:45 zone. Hit the next 5 miles in 28:49.
Now the hardest 5 miles of the whole run. It is at the end, less elevation drop, and it is a rolling drop with lots of turns and going under bridges and through dark narrow tunnels on the trail. Lots of rhythm breakers. Decided to focus on challenging the energy into moving forward rather than making the standard Sasha-in-pain face. Hobie looks like he is smiling even when he is running at his limit. I wondered how he manages that and if there is anything I could learn from it. I think I did today.
Held a fairly steady pace, managed 28:51 for the last 5 miles, closed with a 5:40 mile. This gave me 2:07:59 for 20 miles, and 57:40 for the last 10. Relived the last 2 miles of St. George in a positive way. Visualized Kelly Mortenson passing me with 1.5 miles to go. In the race I tried to go with him, but then I just could not. It was odd - I felt no pain, but my mind was just too tired to go. On the last mile I practiced overcoming this mental "I am too tired to go". It is hard to describe exactly what I did, but the closest I can get is saying that I worked on fully believing that my limit was neurological, that the body had more to give even though I was feeling a bit fuzzy, and then channeling all of my mental energy into going forward, going faster, and believing that I could hold it to the finish at the same time.
P.M. Ran with the kids around the block. 1.05 with Julia in 11:05, 1.75 with Jenny in 16:53, and then 2.1 with Benjamin in 15:54.