Friday, January 06, 2006

First Long Run of the Year

Today was a holiday in our part of Germany (Three King’s Day). In the neighboring state of Rhineland-Pfalz they have to work, strange but true.

In any case I decided to move my 30K/18.6M long run from Saturday morning to this morning. This would give me a day of rest before my 15K/9.3M race on Sunday.

I made the mistake of staying up until 12:30 last night watching a movie, so at 7 a.m. when my alarm when off I was not exactly in top form. I layed for half a second in bed until the idea of postponing the run until later today or tomorrow morning entered my head, but then sprang out of bed – I knew it had to be now or never! I had a small breakfast, suited up, warmed up and headed out the door. It was still a bit dark, the air was cool (1F/34F) and fresh, no wind and no rain (or snow).

My body was kind of reluctant the first 5-10 minutes, but eventually I fell into my groove. I wanted to run just a bit slower than my normal 6:00/K (9:39/M) marathon race pace that I usually train with. I headed out of my village (Stutensee-Friedrichstal) and took the normal super-straight bike path through the forest to Karlsruhe, reaching the 11K turnaround point in 68:02 minutes. By this time it was light outside, so I turned on my MP3 player to keep me company. There wasn’t another soul anywhere in sight, I guess they were all sleeping in.

So after turning around shortly past the 11K point I took an equally straight, but parallel, path back towards my village. I reached my next turning point, around the imaginary 20K marker (about 2.5K from my village) with a time of 2:01:36. Here I took a right and headed towards the neighboring village of Stutensee-Blankenloch.

Shortly before Blankenloch I crossed over a bridge spanning the local railroad line and highway, then ran along the edge of the town for a few minutes. Eventually I reached another bike path, turned left and headed towards Stutensee-Friedrichsal and home. This is a rather nice way as it heads by several fields, eventually passing a couple farms and the Stutensee Palace. I passed by these and continued over the fields towards home. With about 4-5K to go I was wearing out fast, my legs hurt from the 100% asphalt route and my energy was depleted. I guess I should have gone to bed on time last night.

In any case I tried to ignore my discomfort and kept plodding along. I crossed over the last highway and onto the last bike path that led to my house. Today I skipped my traditional 200+ meter sprint to the house, it was enough just to reach the doorstep. I walked around the block for 5 minutes to loosen the legs up a bit and cool down, did some stretching and called it a day. I ran steady for 3:06:29 on 100% asphalt or concrete trails, no breaks! I guess I reached my goal of 30K, in which case I had an average pace of 6:13/K (10:00/M). As I was dragging pretty bad the last 5K this is probably pretty accurate.

So after a warm bath, a hot meal and an hour’s nap I feel pretty good. My legs are tired and sore, but no unusual aches or pains. Tomorrow is a rest day, no training!

On Sunday I have a 15K race – as I said yesterday this will be a “just to finish” race. I love Dawn’s comment – “those are the ones where I set a new PR”. Typically this has proved to be the case. As this will be my FIRST 15K race, technically I will be setting a PR no matter how fast I run ;-)

But for the sake of not tearing anything up, I really am going to try to restrain myself and just run the race as a training run, e.g. 6:00/K pace.

Today is also here holiday (Epifania that has the same meaning of the 3 King's day). I had your same idea and I moved my long run from Sunday to this morning, a sunny and warm morning.
Sounds like a great run. Have a terrific weekend and good luck with the reace!
Sounds like you deserve a rest day. Good luck with the race on Sunday.
Good luck Sunday!
Hope you have a good time on Sunday!
I know how it feels to debate the run with yourself as you lie in bed exhausted! It takes willpower to get up and out! Enjoy the race Sunday!
Great run! Good luck in your race on Sunday. Or maybe with the time difference you may have already finished by now?
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