Fresh out of Napa marathon training, I jumped back in full training mode to prepare for the San Luis Obispo Marathon on April 22nd. I don't have much training time left so I have to piggy back on what I had built up training for Napa.
Seven days from finishing my 24th marathon, I ran my 20 miler with my pal in Paso Robles. We started off from the airport and ran 10 miles to San Miguel and turned around to make the 20.
Recovery from this latest marathon was unexpectedly quick. I went out for a test run on Friday before deciding to run the 20 mile long run. Friday was super hot. It was around 82 degrees. I was going for 6 miles from the office to Cal poly, but I only lasted to the water fountain by the dorms. I thought if I push it I would have to be carried off by a stretcher. I was disappointed that the heat foiled my plans yet again. Four miles was all I could do, but it was for the best. I took Saturday as a recovery day since I wanted to give my legs a bit of a break before I put them to the ringer once again.
Sunday's run was perfect. It was cloudy and cool. Can you say 46 degrees? This was my ideal running temperature. I had on arm warmers underneath my long sleeve shirt and never had to take either of them off. It was windy at some parts of the course but all in all it was manageable. I ran out of Power gels and all I had was the Clif Bloks. I ate one every two miles. In the 10th mile I was craving something more substantial so I popped in a kid-size Clif Bar. I don't generally like chewy stuff like this because it takes so much energy to chew and get it down. But if you're hungry, you're hungry.
This 20 mile training course has a few hills, so does my Turri Road back home in Los Osos. There's two significant hills in each and a bunch of unending rollers. The significant hill on Turri is much steeper. The one in Paso is runnable all the way through. I'm refering to Wellsona Road coming back from North River Road.
I don't know which course is more difficult. Believe it or not, I have the exact same time, to the second, for both courses(9:34 pace). The one done 4 weeks ago in preparation for Napa, I ran a 10-mile pace run the Saturday before. Legs were fatigue. This time, right after Napa, I had rested several days before embarking on the 20 miler. My legs felt fine. Although I wouldn't say they were 100 percent recovered. There might be some lingering fatigue in there. All else being equal, I think both courses are good training runs because the hill length and slope is varied. The more variety of hills I can practice on, the better I get to hone my hill skills.
My first half was done at 9:44 pace and the second half I had a negative split of 9:34. My decision to run SLO marathon hinged on this run. My legs felt strong and was able to keep the demands I put it through. I made a pact with myself that if I felt the slightest twinge of muscle pain on my Achilles or anywhere else, I would back out of the marathon. It would be too soon. Luckily, the outcome is all systems go and am now in full swing of training for the next several weeks. After this training run, I will dial it down for a pull back week. Then I'll have two weeks of semi hard training. Then it's all taper period after that. This coming 3 weeks would be my critical quality weeks. Because the training period is so compressed, I might have to throw out the speed sessions and concentrate on just staying healthy and uninjured.
Here's to running healthy!