Sunday, November 13, 2005

Swim Class #6 and A Cold Long Run

On Friday night was my 6th swimming class. Our teacher spent half the class having us swim 25 meter laps so she could evaluate and correct errors in our breast stroke. For the second half of the class she had us practice the freestyle kick and backstroke. For the remaining four classes she wants to concentrate on the freestyle. She remarked that most of us are far enough ahead with the breaststroke, at least the basic technique, that we can continue to refine it on our own. I estimated that I swam approximately 800-1000 meters during and after the class.

Yesterday morning I set out at 6:30 a.m. for my first long run for Marathon III. It was a brisk 3C/37F as I headed out the door for my planned 22K/13.6M run. I finished the first two kilometers in about 6:00/K (9:39/M) which was the pace I had planned on. For the next 9K it was too dark to see my watch so I could only guesstimate what my speed was. The 11K point was almost under a street lamp so I could read my watch 1:03:57, or 5:49/K (9:21/M), a little bit too fast, but bearable.

From the 11K marker I ran another minute or two until I reached the main roads that rings around the city of Karlsruhe (where I ran the marathon in September), and took a right. Rather than taking the next right and starting back I stayed on the path and took the second right (Linkenheimer Alley) which I wanted to try out. I was hoping this street would be entirely asphalt, unlike the Grabener Alley which I usual took on my return leg of the run. I was never on this new path so I was not sure where I would end up exactly, nor was I sure of the length and kilometer breakdown.

In any case I started down this path until I finally reached a canal that I always cross over. I estimate I had traveled almost 19K/12M by this time. Unfortunately this is where the asphalt trail ended! So I turned right and headed along a gravel path in the direction of my old running trail that more or less paralleled the asphalt path that I had just left. After a couple kilometers I finally arrived at this path and took a left and started heading towards home.

I estimate that I passed the 22K point somewhere between the canal and a highway which I normally cross. I knew that I was still 4-5 kilometers from home and what was worse is that I was surprisingly worn out by this time, my legs were really tired. I stopped and walked long enough to eat a sport bar and drink some sports drink (I had my CamelBak). I was cold and my legs hurt worse than ever, so ran again. I took a couple more shore walk breaks over the next few kilometers, until I reached the edge of my town, then jogged the last kilometer in. I was soaked from sweating and cold, really cold. I covered somewhere between 26-27K (16-17M).

I am fairly confident that I ran my planned 22K with an average pace of 6:00/K (9:39/M). I am kind of shaken that I had so much leg pain after that point though. I think the swimming course just 11 hours before my long run had a lot to do with this, as did the cold foggy weather, and my strict diet that I had been following all week.

If I didn't learn anything else yesterday I learned that training for a marathon during the winter is going to be rough. January and February are going to be especially challenging! On the other side if the winter is too brutal I can alway postpone Marathon III until later on in the year, it doesn't HAVE to be on March 12th. I want to control my marathoning, not have it control me!

Wow that's quite the run. Don't push too hard.
More than 25K in the cold - wow. March 12th will come soon.
You shouldn't be too worried. That was the first long run of the training - of course it felt hard! And the swimming definitely had an effect. Just think about it. When you're swimming, you're using muscles that you never really used before - of course they will be sore for a while.
You're doing just fine, believe me.
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