July 20, 2011

Marathon race pace workout

The dreaded marathon race pace workout of yesterday turned out fine, though (or perhaps because) my Garmin's battery stopped working during the warm-up. Tim wasn't wearing a watch either. We didn't have time to go back home so had the choice of adjusting the workout, or run it by feel.

Given that I'd skipped my marathon race pace workout the previous week, was mentally ready to do it and had Tim for company, I voted to set our pace by feel, and also guesstimate the distance. Tim was happy to oblige. We did a flat-ish out and back course. Without knowing what time we started, we have no idea how long it took.

I did, however, check the distance afterward on the Gmap Pedometer website, as I'd made sure to note the start and turnaround points. We ended up running about 13.3km at what we both believed to be about 4:25/km pace.

Having dreaded this session, which was mostly because I'd done the first one two weeks earlier on a hot day at midday toward the end of a big week of training without giving the session the mental respect it deserved, today I was so much better prepared and felt good in that comfortably uncomfortable way.

Of course I have no way of knowing for sure we ran the correct pace. But we both agreed it felt like we did, so I'll trust our bodies' experience with finding the right speed.

"Though the toil was arduous, they rarely spoke of the discomfort of training or racing in terms of pain; they knew that what gave pain its truly fearful dimension was a certain lack of familiarity. And these were sensations they knew very well." -- from the novel Once A Runner

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