First Official Long Run of the Marathon Training Season

7/16/11 – 10 MILES

Yesterday was the first long run of my marathon training.  After taking some time off from my last marathon in February –actually, a little too much time off–then a back injury after a spectacular fall four steps into an easy run, it was time to get back into the swing of things.  I have spent the last six weeks getting my base built back up and have been averaging 20-22 miles per week before this first long run.

My goal race this fall is the Williams Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa.  I had planned on running it last year but was feeling a little burned out and decided to defer the race until this year.  I will be training with Bill and Heather, the WRRC, and the Dallas Running Club (DRC).  My goal is the same as every marathon, to run a sub 4 hour marathon, and that’s what I will be training for.

Met the White Rock Running Co-op (WRRC) at 6AM in the Fuzzy’s Tacos parking lot.  We had a great turnout of around 30 or so people.  I was irritated to discover that I brought my fuel belt but forgot the water bottles in the fridge.  Argh.  It’s a good thing most of our run would be at White Rock Lake, which has water fountains every mile or so.

The starting temp at the start of the run was 84 and the humidity was 74%.  Yikes.  Everyone was drenched in sweat within five minutes of running.  We have all struggled with the extreme heat in Dallas since the beginning of June, including many evening runs at or above 100 degrees, but such high humidity has been rare this summer.  Everyone put on their game faces and powered through.

Our goal was to keep a 9:45-10:00 pace, but the downhill to the lake–not to mention the “fast group” in the front–kept our pace pretty fast the first 1.5 miles, somewhere between a 9:07 and 9:30.  We knew we would not be able to keep up this pace in the heat.  We also knew that we would be stopping at just about every water stop along the path.

I know that I tend to run too fast on my long runs, and one of my goals this season is to slow down to at least a 9:30 pace on most long runs.  With summer temps so high this year, I don’t want to run faster than a 9:45 pace until it cools off.

The run itself was relaxed and the conversation lively, as always.  It was nice to run with a group again and talk to people I haven’t seen in awhile.  Everyone did great, but we did have to stop at all the water stops.  Took a Gu after the first hour of running, which really helped me up those hills the last 1.5 miles of the run.  I felt great on the hills, and was proud that every single one of us ran up the hills without having to stop and walk.  It’s great to know my base is back.

Afterwards, breakfast at Fuzzy’s (including beer for a select few!) and lots of laughs.  I am really looking forward to training for my 7th marathon with such a great group of friends.

Stats:  10.23 miles @ 9:50 pace

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