A.M.20.36 with Jeff in my new Eva Clogs in 2:01:25. Yes, that's right, 5:57.8 average for the whole business. Only half-intentional. I was in a hurry to get to a baptism this morning, so I told Jeff let's go as fast as is reasonable with the idea that we would bum around at 6:20 pace for the first 5, then speed up to 6:10, then 6:00, and then 5:50 for the last 5. But 2 miles into it the pace hit 6:00 and never really got slower after that except a couple of miles at the end.
So we hit the first 5.09 in 31:18 (6:09 avg), then the next 5.09 in 30:18 (5:57). Then Jeff got really excited about breaking 2 hours for the entire run and started throwing occasional 83 quarters (5:32 pace). I would reign him in with a warning, he would slow down to 86-87 (5:44-5:48 pace). On the detour in the unmarked territory he was like a sports car driver on a freeway in the middle of Nevada with no police officers in sight. I did not have a number to scare him with, so my warnings only slowed him down there to around 5:38 average. We ended up with 29:12 for the next 5.09 stretch (5:44 avg).
This looked too good to be true. Jeff had run 10 miles the night before, and now he was being feisty in the later parts of an aggressively paced 20 miler. But I figured I did not want to hold Jeff back, so I told him to bring me to 4 miles to go mark, and then see if he could run 5:20 pace to the finish. We hit the next 1.05 in 5:58 (5:41 pace), and then Jeff went for it.
The remaining 4 miles was a lesson for both of us. Jeff learned more about fuel fatigue, while I learned more about neural fatigue. It was good to have those two types side by side so we can understand the difference better. In Jeff's case a surge to 5:20 quickly faded, all of a sudden he was struggling with 5:40 pace at first, a mile later with 6:00, then he could not do even 6:00, and the last mile was a disastrous 6:51. I almost caught him.
On my side, as soon as I lost contact I slowed down to 6:00, half a mile later it became 6:05, then 6:08, then with a couple of turns 6:15. However, because the fatigue was in the nervous system, the easing off of the pace allowed me to regroup and finish with a 5:58 last mile, which was slightly uphill, and had bridges and sharp turns. Seeing Jeff gradually come back gave me a boost. The last 5.09 was covered in 30:37 (6:01 avg).
Immediately after the run Jeff was dizzy and hungry, while I was actually too wired up to eat, and not dizzy at all.
Now here is the big question. I know what to do for fuel - just run more miles, and run as much as you can at marathon pace. But what do you do if the limiting factor is in the nervous system? More miles, more miles at marathon pace is often the wrong answer. More sleep is a better answer, but not quite the whole deal. Better form might be the answer, more particularly fixing the rhythm issues. Poor rhythm puts more stress on the nervous system. Then you can approach the issue from the aspect of raw power. Train at sub-5:00, and even hit sub-4:30 pace for short segments. But I think the main culprit is the poor rhythm, which is rooted in what I call "the structure". So we go back to targeted and intelligent massage that would hopefully fix "the structure".
Aside from the small lapse in the final miles I was happy with how this run went. I have not done too many 20 miles in my life in training on a course without a drop averaging sub-6:00. It shows that I am in somewhat respectable shape.
P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 17:57. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 13:45. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:00. Benjamin ran 0.25 with Jacob.