Marathon pace training is the hardest part of training. It is supposed to mentally and physically prepare you for the actual race. So, right in the middle of your weekly mileage, you throw down 7 to 10 miles of actual racing pace on tired legs. Throw in running with a water bottle/belt, contending with dust and dirt in your face from street sweepers and lawn mowers and you have quite a challenge. My marathon pace goal is 6:52/mile, so that's what I needed to hit.
Mile 1: Starting out, I was running fast, but my perceived effort did not reflect a good pace on my Garmin watch. Started thinking "Maybe today is not my day, maybe my easy days aren't easy enough." Also, start to reconsider my goal of a 3 hour marathon. Must. Banish. Negative Thinking. 7:21/mile
Miles 2 and 3: Okay, I'm really pushing myself to hit my target pace, surely I won't be able to keep this up? 6:53/mile, 6:52/mile
Mile 4: This is the last mile before the turnaround, see the flags waving at Belmont Harbor, and realize I'm running into a headwind. Now I know why I'm working so hard. 6:48/mile
Mile 5: Get hit in the eye by a piece of flying dirt from a guy mowing the lawn on the East side of Lake Shore Drive. It's still in my eye as I type this. 6:50/mile
Mile 6: The headwind is now a tailwind!: 6:20/mile
Mile 7: I need to back off a little, as I surely have my average pace. Just need to ease on home. 6:38/mile
Mile 8: Last mile, feel good, and I go for broke for the last quarter mile, may pay for this later... 6:25/mile.
Goal: 8 miles @ 6:52
Actual: 8 miles @ 6:46
Last Tuesday's MP run, was slower than goal pace by 6 seconds and this week I was faster than goal by 6 seconds. Funny how this stuff evens out!
Evening: Run to Potbelly Sandwich Shop to pick up dinner then to Laurie's Planet of Sound to buy a music cd.
Weekly mileage so far 37 of 70