Today’s blog post is brought to you by the number 23.
I finished my longest double long runs this week with a 17-miler yesterday and a 23-miler today. This is the apex of my training for my first double marathon coming up in two weeks. (Did I just say “my first?”) On the 23rd (sensing a pattern?) I run the Self-Transcendence Marathon in Rockland Lake State Park, NY, followed by the Cove Island Marathon/8-Hour Run in Stamford, CT, the next day.
I wanted to tack on a few more miles today just to see if it might be feasible for me to stretch the Cove Island race into my first Ultra by doing 5 extra miles for a 50K. I finished my training run today feeling pretty good, and I do think I might be able to pull it off if everything goes well for both races. Weather, of course, will be a big factor.
Yesterday, for example, it was terribly humid and I was really spent at the end, but today was much better and I finished stronger in spite of the longer distance. I know it was less humid because of a very reliable barometer — my shoes. Yesterday they were soaked at the end. I mean wring-em-out wet. Today, not at all. And, no, I didn’t plant my feet in a deep puddle yesterday — it was all sweat!
So I am feeling fairly confident that I am as ready as I can be. I will take both races very easy by using a run-walk-run approach. Today I did almost all of the run alternating between a 4-minute run and a 1-minute walk. I may cut that ratio down even more for the first marathon (with shorter run periods), but it is fairly easy to re-program my Gymboss Timer during a walk break as needed. The walk breaks also make it easier to continually hydrate. My goal is to simply finish so it’s all about endurance. Now I get to taper, so next week I’ll just do back-to-back 14-milers.
Yesterday I ran the inner loop of Valley Forge National Historical Park, then crossed back over to the Betzwood side of the river and headed toward Norristown. I finished up with several more miles on the River Trail. Today I started on the River Trail, ran up Paulings Road to do the Audubon Loop to Oaks, then headed along the Perkiomen Creek to Indian Head Road. I doubled back and headed north on the Schuylkill River Trail past the Port Providence Trail Head toward Phoenixville before heading back to Betzwood and finishing up with an extra mile toward Norristown. Between the two days I covered most of the trail options closest to Betzwood.
Just before I got to the Port Providence Trail Head I found the bench Fast Tracks has dedicated to the honor of club founder, Joan Osborne (photos below). I missed the run two weeks ago that covered that portion of the trail. That was the weekend I ran the PA Grand Canyon Marathon. Although I joined the club after Joan left the area, I am aware of what a positive influence she had on the formation of the club and its character. Thanks, Joan!
This Week’s Runs (54.45 total miles):
Mon – 5.13 miles – 11:17 pace
Tue – 5.14 miles – 12:03 pace
Wed – 4.07 miles – 13:02 pace
Fri – 17.14 miles – 13:08 pace (with 5 miles of hills)
Sat – 23.00 miles – 13:49 pace (including one mile treadmill warm up)