Last week when I was doing my scheduled speed work I actually had a thought about how great it feels to be healthy again. If that is something you think about while doing speed work then I guess you aren’t working hard enough. To be honest, it was during a threshold run while I was on the “run very easy for three minutes” portion of the workout. But yeah, it really is nice to feel like I am fully healthy again and that was a thought I had during my nine mile long run on Sunday.
The 10 mile race distance isn’t really that popular. Here on the East Coast, and these are just the ones that I know of which means I’m missing others, we have the Bronx 10 miles race, the Cherry Tree 10 miler in DC, and Philly Broad Street. I’ve done Cherry Tree once, and am training for my third Broad Street Run. The Bronx 10 mile race was always included in my marathon training. The other one I have done haven’t involved a whole lot of training. The thought was there but it just never really happened.
This time around I wanted to make sure I was good and ready. Even better is that I have been able to stick to most of the schedule. There a few Sundays when it was just too cold for me to run outside and I just couldn’t get to a treadmill to complete the runs. Even with the missed runs I had one nine mile run that I had completed and one that was scheduled for this past Sunday. That is plenty for me to get a good feel for what I can expect performance-wise on race day.
When I did my first nine mile long run I felt pretty good and confident that I could possibly match my PR for the distance but really wanted to wait and see how I felt after this final nine mile run.
We finally had weather cooperated nicely compared to the previous weekend when I was freezing my way around Yankee Stadium. So I hit the road in short sleeves and shorts (feels good to say that) and headed out on my usual route. I should mention that my route has hills, a lot of hills, and some really steep hills. Philly is flat and has slight downhill elevation.
I kept these elevation facts in my head as I climbed each and every hill. When you look at my mile splits for this run you can clearly tell that most of the hills were on the back half of this run but I never felt exhausted or spent as I was making my up those hills.
I’ve also been using UCAN for my nutrition for these long runs and really like it. Form me I find that it provides more energy for a lot longer than Gu and it is hasn’t caused funky tummy feelings on some of the longer runs that Gu would sometimes give me. I think this along with the proper iron level in my system has made this training experience a much better one than in recent years.
I finished the long run feeling pretty good and faster than my previous nine mile long run. My calculations put at roughly the same time as my PR. But no matter what happens I’ll be happy with how I trained for this race. It certainly has me in the right direction as I start planning out my training for the Philadelphia Marathon in November.