It has been a LONG time since I have posted…. I have been on vacation(s) and will post about my travels over the next week…. but first a training update. I am training for the Revel Big Canyon Marathon on September 14 in Utah. As of mid-June I had worked myself up to a long run of 19.8 miles (3/4 Marathon). My longest weekly total was only 32 miles…. The weekly total is not that inspiring, but the 20 miler was done at a pace of 9:06 per mile – which by my thinking was marathon pace.
Marathon pace? My goal is to run Big Cottonwood in 3:30. This would give me a 5 minute cushion on the new 55-59 men’s Boston Qualifying standard of 3:35. A 3 hour 30 minute marathon is an 8 minute per mile pace.
So, how is 9:06 a marathon pace workout? There are two factors that will greatly effect the pace of my run in September. The first and most obvious is the profile. This race has about 600 ft of elevation gain and about 5800 feet of elevation loss. I found a race pace calculator and it says that a 3:30 marathon with this much elevation loss is equivalent to a 3:57 marathon on level ground! That would be a downhill bonus of 1 minute per mile! I will be happy with a gain of 20 to 30 seconds!
The other big factor, and I have blogged about this before is my weight. Early this year I let myself go on a binge of eating, whilst I was not running due to an injury… by the time I came home from France the first of April I was 197 pounds! I have been working on it and by the June 8th running of the 3/4 marathon I was 185. I have calculated current marathon pace at different weights with a goal of 170 pounds being 8:00 per mile. If 170 is 8:00 min/mile, 186 would be 8:48 min/mile… If I then allow for a 20s downhill pace gain… that 9:06 pace back in June was as good as doing a 20 mile marathon pace run!
So, since then…… June 14, Clay and I drove to Northern California and from June 15 – 22 we once again did the Sierra to the Sea bicycle tour! I did NO running that week but I did ride 423 miles! Clay did significantly MORE!!
I came home from the ride on Saturday night June 22 and on Monday morning June 24 left for a 3 week vacation to Great Britain, Ireland and Niagara Falls! So, from June 15 to July 7 there was little opportunity for training! Whilst on vacation I did manage weeks of 11, 33 and 9 miles. The longest single run was a 13 miler doing 78 laps on the Norwegian Spirit cruise ship.
So, I spent a month NOT progressing in my training or in my weight loss…. I am happy though with my weight loss numbers…. On the 1 week bike ride I somehow managed to gain a pound and a half. On the 3 week vacation I lost most of it…. I figure if you can go on vacation, especially involving 12 days on a cruise ship and NOT gain weight – that’s a very good thing…. My current weight is 183.6
So, now I am home and have had my first week back. Monday I did a nice 6 mile downhill training run- This was 6 miles from 60th and the aqueduct down into Lancaster. This was done at an easy effort – 8:06 pace on 1.6% downhill. So It would qualify as marathon goal effort (without losing any more weight.) Tuesday we did my Sweet 16 workout at Marie Kerr Park…. This unfortunately got me really sore so that I did not get anything worth mentioning in the rest of the week…. just a few easy miles.
But today, I went back to the Beach to do another practice long run/race. This was another Charlie Alewind race. Rather than running on the Long Beach shoreline bike path, it was run on some parking lot pathways and sidewalks in the nearby Marina area. And rather than it being a 4 lap 3/4 marathon… It was a 4 lap 2/3 marathon! So, the course was pretty flat. I ran 17.4 miles in 2:27:19 @ a pace of 8:29…
So, once again, I consider it to be a marathon pace effort! 8:29 would be the marathon goal pace at 178 pounds…. But I am currently 183… So I ran under marathon pace for my weight…. on flat ground!
I may not be getting in the epic total mileage of years gone by, but I figure I should be able to get my practice runs up to 20 miles at marathon pace… and then add the downhill for a bonus – (and to compensate if I don’t quite make 170 by race time…) This is looking very doable!