I woke up this morning to pleasant weather-it finally cooled off(FINALLY!!), and there was a nice breeze in the air as the humidity cleared. I drove out to Whites Ferry, to where my favorite 10 mile loop was. I was to do 2 loops, and then add on an out and back 6 mile. This was great because I could loop back to my car, grab water/fuel and keep things going. I went alone. I needed to do this alone. I mentally visualized the way I should run a marathon race. Patience, patience, patience. Start out slow. Build.
I started out gently, and gradually let my body naturally build into the pace. I was able to start out mid to low 6's, and kept low 6's for the first 10 miles, coming through 61 min. The second loop I started running faster, going through the 2nd 10 miles in 57 min, so it progressed really well. I was amazed at how efficient I ran. The last 6 I couldn't believe how strong I felt, and did an out and back along the rolling dirt road, finishing the run in 2:33. I think the last 6 miles I felt somewhat like He-Man when he got his sword back(yes for those of you youngsters reading, this is cheezy, but hey, this was epic if you grew up in the 80s!):
2:33. Shit, that's a new PR, isn't it? I thought to myself. The run came out to a bit over 26 actually, so I might have damn ran the exact 26.2 distance-at least as close as possible. At any rate, I consider this an unofficial new marathon PR. But I think this just tells me how now I am beginning to catch up. Perhaps I can race a 2:22 next month. I can't get caught up in the trials pace(2:18), I need to run my own race if I am going to conquer this. I must start out slow that first mile. The mental training is now what I must do. The physical is mostly done at this point. I have a quick 20 miler next weekend, and then the taper begins. My coach has trained me well the last year. Now I must mentally train myself to relax and run my own race. This is the most important part of running, to enjoy it. It truly is a journey.