Sunday, January 18, 2009

McAlpine Long Run

86 mins.
12.5 miles

This morning was my first long run at McAlpine with the team, and I was hoping to get in a hard effort. I know Tanya likes to keep a pretty brisk pace on her long runs, so my goal was to stick with her for as long as possible. We took things out at just under 7-minute pace and never really backed off from there.

With the way the trails are set up at McAlpine, the best way to do a run of this length was to run from our parking lot to the start of the Footlocker South course (2 miles), run the course three times (15k, but cutting the last loop slightly short), then run back on the main trail (2 miles). It sounds somewhat monotonous but really wasn't, probably because this is only my third time running out there, and provided us with soft surfaces the entire way. The wind was pretty brisk on some sections and a light rain/sleet started falling midway through the run, which made things a bit uncomfortable. Or maybe I was uncomfortable because of the pace. After going through 8 miles in ~55:25 I knew I was out of my element, but still wanted to stick things out. Unfortunately I also needed to detour to the bathroom which we were about a quarter mile away from at the time, so I darted off in the opposite direction and hoped to rejoin her upon my return. Luckily she happened to pass right by me going the opposite direction on a parallel trail so I cut through the grass and met back up with her.

I knew Tanya's plan once we rejoined the main trail at 11 miles was to drop things down to 6:20-6:30 pace for the remainder of the run, and that's when I pretty much said peace out. My legs were toasted and we were facing a stiff headwind all the way back to the parking lot, so it was all I could do to manage 7-minute pace on the final miles whileTanya left me in the dust. I can tell that I need to work on being stronger on runs like this, as my final mile on this run felt much more strenuous than the final mile of my tempo a few days ago that was run a full minute faster. That said, overall I was pleased with this effort and happy to have rounded out the weekend with a solid workout.