Hilary's Steamtown Marathon blog
Sunday, August 29, 2004
Long run, 16.16 miles, 3:07:20; splits 10:21, 10:44 (1.16), 11:38, 10:04, 11:11, 10:42, 11:25, 11:39, 11:11, 10:57, 11:14, 12:47, 14:27, 12:29, 12:49, 11:58
Miles for the week: 34 (5/8/5/16)
Weight: 117-ish

A VERY difficult run. It was hot and sticky, I think I wasn't fully recovered from the 18-miles-in-32-hours thing, and hadn't caught up on sleep. This was definitely the hardest run I've had, and it was sort of discouraging--the idea of running another 10 miles, when it was all I could do to run 16, is scary. On the other hand, I'll be much better rested for the marathon and it won't be 85 degrees. (I hope!) As aftermath, I'm just noticing that the nail on the middle toe of my left foot is sore and dark pink. It may be heading for that black toenail syndrome...

On Bolton road I saw a dark shape up ahead in the road. It eventually resolved into 3 wild turkeys. With them (on the shoulder) was a young deer. The deer saw me first & then the turkeys started running and the deer followed, so I think they really were kind of hanging out together. That would be a smart thing for a deer to do, because turkeys are so wily and alert. Further along I met a nice tailless Lab cross called Kelly (I know because her owner, who was busy talking on a cell phone, yelled to me "SHE WON'T BITE!" and "Kelly, come!") At the lake where I saw 2 blue herons last week, there was one flying over the water which landed in a dead tree. My heart lifts when I see one no matter how often it happens--they're so huge and elegant.

Wildflowers: pale touch-me-not (saw them last week but forgot!), purple-leaved willowherb, beggar ticks, buckwheat. Fruit: apples, acorns (smashing on the road, not sure what kind), dogwood berries.

The one mile that was all downhill was just over 10 minutes, but my overall pace was quite slow (because of the heat/fatigue etc.) Once I've done an 18-miler I'll try to plan my pace for the marathon based on the course profile vs. my run profiles/times. I've been estimating 5 and a half hours since the beginning, but it's becoming clear that it's certainly *possible* for me to run it in under 5 hours, which would be delightful but I'm not counting on it. I've looked at a number of pace charts, many of which (like this one, at an apparently-defunct site called firsttimemarathoners.com) are just insane--no way can a 29:56 5K translate to a 4:13 marathon, can it? That's a 9:40 pace; if I started that fast I would crash and burn! If I ran a perfect race and expended my energy *just right*...even so, I doubt it.

Today, because I was having such a hard time, I really looked forward to my hydration breaks, which work out to 30-90 seconds of walking every 2 miles. It's not quite Gallowalking, and since I'm doing fine I'll stick to it. Jim2 has some convincing articles about Gallowalking; basically, he says that if you're disciplined enough, you don't need it to run your best race (and it will detract from your time). But walking through the water stations will be helpful, I'm sure.
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