Thirteen Point One

My last long-distance training run before my ‘midway’ fall marathon was this Sunday.

In keeping with what I learned about what happens with too much weekly mileage, I ran 4 times this week.

– Tuesday Hill Repeats (8x hill repeats, with downhills and recovery) 5 miles
– Wednesday (Actually Thursday) Easy Run – 5 miles
– Friday FAC 5k – ‘tempo’ run – 5 miles (0.9 w/u, 3.1 tempo, 1 c/d)
– Sunday LSD – 13.1

That schedule, plus the arrival of late summer/early fall here in Michigan, meant I had some of the best running I’ve ever had. My 5k time on Friday was a 27:26; my PR on the FAC course. It’s self timed and not an official race, but still, what a blazing time! An 8:50 pace!

Taking Saturday off is the compromise necessary to keep my weekly miles under 30, and my legs fresh for those long runs. Waking up and sitting alone at home while Steph went to her Muay Thai class, wasn’t exactly hard. When is sitting at home and killing an hour on the computer ever *hard*? Driving to the restaurant, sitting at the restaurant, and seemingly coming out of every side street and across every crosswalk were runners, enjoying the 60 degree weather. I was a little jealous. On top of that, Steph was planning to attend a Cider Mill Crawl the whole afternoon, so I’d be by myself for several hours. Knowing I needed to take the rest, I decided to follow up on something I’d been thinking about for a while.

I bought some sweet sunglasses, @ REI Ann Arbor.

Don in the Tifosi Slip Fototec

I want to write up a little review of these babies after having them for a while, but I’d been eyeing them since a trip to REI a couple weeks ago. They’re a faint red tint, and they’re photochromic (darken in the sun). And while I have a prescription, my old Ray Ban prescription shades are getting beat to hell from all the miles I’ve put on them, and my current daily wear glasses are rather small-lensed, so I’m squinting from sun coming in around at all other angles, despite them also being ‘transitions’ (another name for photochromic) lenses.

When Sunday rolled around, it was a real contrast to Saturday. Whereas Saturday I was sitting around, killing time, having my typical relaxing weekend, Sunday was chock full of activity. We woke up late, cooked some breakfast, and before I knew it it was time to run, because I had to be done with enough time to get ready for our afternoon plans (which involved Miller High Life and mexican food. While hanging out with what appeared to be an infinite number of 0-9 year olds. Be jealous.)

I was scoping out runs, and had some fun looking at just how far away 13.1 miles will get you. I could run to Stick’s, the bar I used to frequent in my young and crazy days, out in Ypsi. I could run the ENTIRE length of Martinsville road, from Belleville Lake at the North end, to the end of the it in Carleton, all that way south.

While I was contemplating this, Steph suggested running home from the gym.

“Pfft,” I said, “that’s only 5 miles.”

But soon I was planning out a route that stitched together my normal long run (through the metro park) my gym run home (along Huron River) and my occasional speed jaunts down Martinsville road, into a huge, 13.2 mile run home.

My 13.1 Route This Sunday

It was a huge run. I don’t need to belabor every detail of it, but it was 13.1 miles of confidence. I got stopped for directions twice, but that was the only thing that even approached a rest. I ran the whole thing at a relatively good clip; the first 10 miles averaging a 10:06 pace, the last 5K and change a 9:45, leaving me with almost exactly a 10 minute pace (2:12:53 for 13.3 miles). I felt solid, enjoyed the pace, and kept in stride. My pace isn’t as consistent as I would have liked, looking at it now, but my mile splits were all in the 10:00 to 10:30 range.

Steph came out to get some photos of me returning home. Nothing turned out great, but you can see I’m still on my feet. Brooksie is two weeks away, and I feel ready.

Donald returning home, after 13.1


5 responses to “Thirteen Point One

  1. Don –

    Janet and I continue to be fans. Keep up the good running, and the even better writing!

    That 13+ miler of 9/20 sounds VERY solid. With the added benefit of the teeming masses about you, all dripping with hormones, testosterone, and suited up in tight spandex, I am certain your adrenaline will push you to an easy “glide” of 9:50 a mile.

    On our front, I am working my way back from that nasty calf tear in late June, followed by a WAY TOO EARLY attempt at mileage. Stupid me.

    However, as of late, I have managed 3 10 milers, 2 13 milers, and a 14 miler. Yesterday morning (Sunday), I ran the NYRR sponsored 18-miler NYC Marathon Tune Up. 3 ugly laps around Central Park, with unexpected humidity in the 80% range. Wasn’t pretty, but did manage a 2:40 for 8:54 miles. That might translate to a 3:45+ marathon, 5 ½ weeks away. Here’s hoping.

    My goal is to do a 20, then maybe a 22, then a 2-week period of praying and tapering.

    Hang in. Enjoy. And keep the blog alive.

    Paul & Janet Swem

    PS – Tell the better half we are also following the cooking creations!

    • My mom was bummed but had to pull out of the NYC marathon this year. She hopes to run it next year! Good luck and have a great race 🙂

    • Thanks Paul! I’m glad you and Janet are still reading. Your encouragement (and sage advice) during the run-up to Pittsburgh was a huge help.

      Glad to hear you’re piling on those long runs for the NYC Marathon. Also glad to hear that the mistake of running too far, too early, is not one isolated to those of us new at the starting line.

  2. Pingback: Brooksie Way Half Marathon Race Report | Wisely and Slow

  3. I love that photo of you running! I’d like to say my 13.8 yesterday was comfortable but really, it was a bit unpleasant after mile 8 and after mile 11, I starting thinking I was nuts. Which I probably am, a bit. A bit.

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