Sunday, May 25, 2008

Push the limits.... a little

This is my run from this morning; it started out great and ended.... ok, I guess??? My body still hasn't gotten used to the heat yet, but it is starting to slowly adapt to it. One thing that I tend to do is use a heart rate monitor to keep track of how my body and my heart is working on a given day. As you have noticed, I have been really happy with how my body has been performing at these faster paces while keeping my heart rate in check. Well, those days are over... at least for now. The heat and humidity has made my heart rate climb up like it was at this time last year... its just that my speeds are about 1 minute/mile faster than last year. So today I decided to do just run my long run pace that I have been running before the weather got disgustingly hot like it is now. For me, that is at around a 9:00 pace for the first 7 miles, and then at an 8:20/mile for the last 5 miles. I just turned my Garmin screen to not show my heart rate... and I just wanted to see what happened. I periodically checked it during the 1st 7 miles... and it was in the mid-high 160's... which was fine with me. By time I finished the first 7 miles, I was on the Suncoast Trail, and it was time to pick up the pace. I knew I was hydrated well, and ready to give it a shot.... and the first 2-3 miles at the new pace felt pretty good... so I thought it was going to be a walk in the park for the last 2 miles. Once I got to the end of the Suncoast Trail, I have to open a gate to get back to where my house is... and it was amazing with me just stopping to open the gate, and attempting to start again was so difficult. The last two miles were a bear!!! It really took a lot of focus and concentration to keep my pace up, and maybe I could've pulled out another mile if I desperately needed to, but I'm glad I didn't. After looking at my watch when I finished, I saw that my HR hovered around the mid-high 180's for the last 3-4 miles... whoa!! But it's all good... I guess there are few things I might do different next time.... like start a little earlier, but overall I think I handled it quite well. The one thing that brought a little concern to me today was that last mile reminded me of the last couple of miles of the marathons that I have done so far... not too pretty... but this time around the last mile was the fastest... still felt like crap... but hey, I finished strong, so its all good!!!!

In 10 days, I officially start my training program for the Chicago Marathon. My goal is to run a strong marathon. All the way!!! I want to run the whole way.. no walking... just for water and fluids... but not because I'm just tired and beat. I have some time goals, but I won't share those just yet... I think the harder goal is to be able to run the whole way... cramps, no cramps... doesn't matter... just run a smart race. This weather that we are dealing with here can only help in the whole process. My goal is to run the paces I am running now, but with my heart rate about 8-10 beats lower than what it is now by the end of the training period.