Last week was my 20 mile long run, which is only the 3rd time in my entire life that I have run 20 miles.
The other two time were at the Mrytle Beach Marathon (because I didn't do any long runs for that marathon.) And the Salt Lake City Marathon because I hurt my IT Band right before my 20 mile long run so I didn't do it in the hope that by resting my knee it would be magically healed in time for the race.
Last week I ran 18 miles in 2:40:43 with an average pace of 8:57 per mile. Based on Jeff Galloway and Rick Brown (Club Oly's trainer) I should have been running with an average pace of 9:30 per mile.
This past week I started determined to actually keep to my 9:30 pace. This lasted about a mile because I only glanced at the map and just figured I could follow someone. What I didn't know was that half the group was running in a race that day and so they didn't come to the long run. The rest of the group was going slower than my target pace (at least in the first couple of miles). This left me following Mr. Speedy Gonzalas. Seriously, this guy was running 8 minute miles! I tried to keep him just in sight but almost lost him twice at intersections. (Remember I didn't know where I was going?) After the half way mark Mr. S.G had to pee and verbally tried to tell me where to go...yeah, I couldn't remember the directions with in 30 seconds. So I just ran along last weeks route until I got to 15 miles and then turned around. 20 Miles is 20 Miles, right?
I pulled in to the parking lot with a total of 20 miles after 2:56:03 and an average pace of 8:42 per mile. Which on the one hand is kind of awesome but on the other so totally NOT what I was supposed to be doing.
Plus, it turned out that I had strained my IT Band.
The other one.
The good news is that this is a "down" week so I haven't had much mileage to run and have really been able to rest the little guy and take it easy.
The lesson to be learned is that coaches just MIGHT have reasons to tell you to run excruciatingly slow and one of them is "so you don't hurt yourself".