My final long run before CIM was not encouraging. It was somewhere between a wake-up call and a huge blow to my confidence.
My first mistake was not sticking to my plan. I was going to run 20 miles with about 8 at marathon pace, but I let a friend talk me into doing 24 miles instead. That would have been the second longest run of my life, with only my first marathon being longer.
The plan was going to be 8-8-8, with the first 8 easy, the second 8 about 30 seconds faster, and the final 8 at MP. This can be a great training run to get you ready for the rigors of running fast when you're tired and beat up. It certainly did show me how hard that could be.
The first eight felt great. The second eight miles got tougher but I didn't sense impending doom. I did notice as we ramped up to marathon pace that I was having trouble getting into gear. Part of this is that I seem to have a hard time changing pace during runs. If I want to run fast I need to start fast. That was certainly the case today.
I was trying to do 8 miles at sub 6:30 but these were my splits:
then it got ugly: 6:48, 7:08, and 8:16. That's eight, but somehow we were still a mile from the finish, and I was done. I walked back to my car from there.
I am not sure what to do now. All my training partners are telling me to shake it off and stick with my goal of breaking 2:50, which translates to a 6:29 pace. I am hearing a lot of stories about terrible late-season training runs people have had, then gone on to run their best marathons ever. I will probably make the call at the starting line. If not, my body will make it for me a couple of hours later.
Let the taper begin.
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