The looooooong 16

Last night was a little experiment for my trip to Vegas in 9 days. Near the end of that trip, the training plan calls for me to run 18 miles. Now, it’s a business trip, but most of the value comes from networking in the bars after the conference sessions are over. That means drinking. Last night, our friends had a party and I tested drinking two waters for every alcoholic drink I consumed. I consumed rum and cokes (Sailor Jerry rum to be specific). I slept as late as I wanted in the morning since it’s not extraordinarily hot here. Then, I set out. There was not a cloud in the sky, which made it hotter than it seemed.

I missed my first water break due to a music festival in the park. I started off pretty fast. The first mile was just under 10 minutes, the second was 9:30 and the third was 9:00. I noticed that my heart rate was running about 10 beats per minute above what it normally is. Still, I managed to make it about 7.5 miles before feeling anything too severe. Then, I was just tired. My legs ached and my heart rate ran high. I ended up doing more walking than running in the return trip, which made for a very long afternoon. Fortunately, the sky clouded up. That took away the heat factor.

I don’t know if it was the alcohol, missing the walk break, or starting off too fast….probably a combination of all three. In any case, I’m not too keen to repeat that performance. I leave Las Vegas on a Saturday and I was going to run my 18 miles the day before I leave. Instead, I think I’ll postpone the 18 miler for the Sunday after I return and drink plenty of water on the return flight Saturday.

I have to admit that I’m a little depressed after this run. I’ve been striving for the 9:00 minute mile pace that will get me across the finish line in less than 4 hours, but I’m taking these training runs too fast. The reality is that even elite runners run their long runs at 6:00-6:30 per mile which is 1:30 to 2:00 slower than they run the marathon. I really need to take it easier on my training runs. The adrenaline of the race day will increase my pace somewhat regardless. Running too fast now will only leave me overtrained and unready.

Planned workout

1 mile warmup

16 miles at 10:00 pace

1 mile cool down

Actual workout

1 mile warmup

16 miles at 12:23 pace

1 mile cool down

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