This week’s installment really started on Friday… when the speedwork we’d put off on Wed and Thursday was re-inserted into our training schedule.
Judi did 4 ~7:45s... and only took one wrong turn.
On Friday evening I met Mark for a couple of loops of the UNF trails…. We got in 6 miles in 54ish minutes…. And had a nice chat along the way.
That said…. And done… my legs were cooked
Sunday morning… I kid you not… I woke with a start… raring to go running… only to look at my watch which read 0230… I thought to myself… “Dangit… gotta sleep 2 more hours”
Alarm went off at 0400… finally it was time…
And we had a plan…. Loosely based on this:
basically… we run together for the first 13 miles… then I turn around and run back .5 miles… reverse direction again and try to run Judi down… we both would pick up the pace for the last 5 (for her) and 6 (for me) miles. I was hoping to do a nice crescendo from about an 8:30 pace to a 7:20 over the 6 miles…. Judi was just going to run…
the course was mapped:
We hit the road at 0450… ran the first 2 at 10:15 pace… Judi asked me how I felt about a half mile in… “my legs are tired” was my response.
That does not mean that we weren’t having fun tho… miles 3-8 quickly passed under our feet… we stayed at about a 9:45 pace… while talking, laughing, listening to music, and dancing… we even saw a couple walking down one of the streets in Jacksonville Beach drinking beer and carrying a cooler at 0545 on a Sunday morning… now *that’s* hardcore.
After a store stop around mile nine we started to slow a bit… we had tuned into a headwind… our tired legs were just slowing down… and I, for one, was trying to gather myself for the discomfort of running hard for the last hour. Miles 9-12.5 slipped to a 10:30 pace… It has been months since we have run that slow….
No matter…. We stopped at the top on the Atlantic Blvd Bridge… “Shook hands”… and parted ways. I was not ready… and did not immediately pick up the pace much… maybe to a 9:30…
Mile 14 I tried to up the pace… my legs said “no”… my head said “yes” my legs said “maybe” then my head said… “that’ll have to do” and off we went to run a 9:05
I tried to up the pace again for the next mile… Really working hard and managed to drop it down to an 8:35… I had planned to be sub 8 for the last 5… it just was not to be… I was giving it all I had.
Somehow I managed to keep edging my pace down 8:20 for mile 16, then 8:16, and finally mile 18 was a 7:56… I wanted to up the ante one more time… I really wanted a 7:40 for mile 19 but I did not have it in me… I used every mind game I knew and only came up with an 8:11… I finished up the last .82 in just under a 10 pace… like the beaten man that I was.