I Would Be Screwed.

7.28.13 -- 13 miles

I’m still trying to “find” my new marathon pace.

In order to run a 4:16 in Portland, my average “per mile” pace needs to be 9:46. I know for many of you that won’t sound uber speedy, but the trick [for me] will be to maintain that freakin’ speed over the course of 26.2 long, treacherous, mean-spirited, take-no-prisoner miles.

I rarely talk about speed. Here’s why:

  • It feels kind-of private. (Which is weird b/c I don’t keep much from you.)
  • I think we runners compare ourselves based on speed. (I don’t like it!)

Right now, my pace is all over the board. Immediately following Saturday’s 13 mile sh*t storm, I complained to D.R., “It still feels like I’m trying to FIND my pace.”

It’s no secret my goal is to get FASTER. So, for the last several weeks, I’ve been tearing out of the gate [on each long run] at my top speed: 9 minutes per mile.  My pace begins to slow at mile 11. By mile 16, I’m averaging 11 minute miles. My average speed on my last two long runs were 10:04 (18 mi.) and 9:45 (13 mi.) respectively.

This tells me a few things:

  • I can run a mean 5k, 10k and potentially a sub 2:00 half if the stars are aligned and the wind blows from behind. (Unfortunately, none of these are my goal. Damn it.)
  • I must continue to ramp up my strength, endurance and turnover to sustain a 9:46 over 26.2 miles.
  • Instead of putting the pedal to the metal right out of the gate, I need to hold back and shoot for a negative split…faster mile times on the second half of a run. (I’m laughing out loud as I write this…I’d have to run 15 minute miles to make that sh*t work.) Anyhoo…

In keeping with weekly custom, I hit the gym this morning and rowed 5000 meters. (Turns out their machines aren’t broken and I got faster.)

I also spent some hard time on one of their steppers: (Forgive the crappy shot, I was in a hurry and didn’t want to look like a perv.)

stepper

Holy Cripes Almighty. Who does this? Who intentionally climbs 100 flights of stairs before 6 am? God Bless America, I haven’t sweat that much in a YEAR. The guy two machines over kept peeking at me out of the corner of his eye, likely to make sure I didn’t fall OFF the God-damn thing backwards. I’m not kidding when I say it felt as though my heart would burst. 

While climbing to some elusive place in the proverbial sky, I couldn’t help but think:

“If there really IS a stairway to heaven, and it’s MORE than 100 flights to the front door, I am totally screwed.”

ONWARD!

Brook

P.S. Have you ever struggled finding a faster pace? Or do you love the freakin’ stepper? Come over and share your story! www.Facebook.com/BrooksFirstMarathon.

P.P.S. Yesterday I shared Trena’s running story on FB — she’s run 39 half-marathons and she’s training for her first full. (Chicago in October.) If you missed it, and you want a quick jolt of “feel good,” click here. 

P.P.S.S. Want to know the 5 super foods every runner should have on stand by? Find out when I interview celebrity trainer and certified nutritionist Jay Nixon this Thursday night. If you struggle with blood sugar, nutrition or inflammation, don’t miss this call! Save your seat here.  

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4 Responses to I Would Be Screwed.

  1. hayleylyons July 30, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    Pacing is definitely the hardest part for me, too! The pace that seems easy at mile 5 could be impossible at mile 19, which is why I tend to start TOO SLOWLY. I’m still trying to find the perfect balance, too! -H

  2. Kristin July 31, 2013 at 4:28 am #

    I ran the Portland Marathon in 4:16 (training for 4:10). A few things you might have to account for in pacing…1) bathroom stop(s) (obviously)(I had one); 2) St. John’s Bridge at mile 17 (big hill); 3) train(s) (for real, I had to stop for one at mile 25); long course (mine was .25 miles extra, obviously that added 2+ minutes to my time! Also, I really, really encourage you to slow down in your long runs so you don’t burn out in the first few miles. Why not start at 10:30, go to 10:00 after a few miles, and try to finish with a few 9:45 or faster? Just a thought. 🙂 P.S. Portland was my favorite marathon.

    • brooksfirstmarathon July 31, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

      Kristin – THANK YOU! I haven’t yet looked at the course for Portland…right now my only ace in the hole is knowing I’ll be at sea-level instead of altitude. I appreciate your outline…I run hills daily in my neighborhood (big ones) so I’ll be sure to bring the stink on mile 17. Your idea about starting slow sounds perfect for my 16er this weekend — I’ll give it a go. Thanks for sharing your brilliance and for being on my journey! Shine on sister! — BK

    • Trena Roudebush August 4, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

      Wait… seriously… there’s a train that might come rolling through? I can only imagine the cluster of runners bouncing around waiting for it to pass.

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