How to ruin marathon training in just a few easy steps!
Today I preemptively avoided throwing my alarm across the room by waking up and shutting it off before it slapped me in the face with its incessant whining. I then proceeded to get up when my inner guilt alarm got the best of me and reminded me of the past experiences I’ve had doing my long run in the sweltering heat. Fortunately, today’s weather was beautifully mild from start to finish. Still, I was out the door before 8 and planned to do an out and back route twice to ensure I completed a full 20 mile run. I felt pretty smashingly considering the race I ran the day prior, but still took the first 5 miles at a pretty slow clip, but on the turn around I was aided by a tailwind and my pace noticeably picked up. Then, as luck would have it, at mile 9 I caught Jon Little, Jon Poray, and Little’s Kenyan friend from New York, Joseph, bouncing out of the woods and onto the rail trail I was covering. I turned right around and joined them, heading back in the direction I had just came.
Without realizing it, I was about to get a taste of the standard Kenyan run I had read so much about in More Fire. Since they were just starting we were loping along at a nearly troublesome slow pace, but before too long we had fell into a quicker rhythm, and as is customary with Kenyan style running the pace quickened again, and again, and again, until nearing the 40 minute mark we were pushing quite strong. Just then, Poray, who realized he was a frog in boiling water, asked outloud, “Geez…what pace are we going? I looked over at Joseph’s gait and realized we are flying!” And we were. All of a sudden we were pushing 5:30 pace on what was supposed to be a 6:30 or slower pace for our usual long run. Finally, just when none of us could keep up with Joseph’s pace, he stopped in the complete opposite manner of how he got to that pace, which is to say immediately. We were all caught off-guard by the abrupt pace change and both Jon’s kept going, not wanting to shock their systems and ruin their run by changing pace so quickly. I was far past my turn around point this far out and turned around with Joseph to being the run back home, but when I thought he was going to follow me back, he instead reverted back to his painfully slow beginning pace as an extended cool down. This is the Kenyan way….and it apparently works. Regardless, I wanted to keep moving quickly to take advantage of the strength I was feeling on this important long run, so I left Joseph behind and ran the extended distance back home. Admittedly though, that increased pace towards the end of the run really took its toll on me, and 3 miles out I started to break down, absolutely dying for water, of which there was none.
I survived though and finished the run at a full 21 miles with quality when I was supposed to simply go out for 20 at an easy pace. Unexpectedly, this was a needed dose of confidence to run such a distance at a decent pace and still recover well. Doing this after a race was even more encouraging.
So then exactly where did I ruin my marathon training you ask?
Ok, I didn’t eat ALL that, but I had my share. That, my friends, is a batch of vegan Rocky Road brownies topped with vegan Dandies Marshmallows.
THAT is how you ruin marathon training. Well, this is how technically.
1. Have your friends invite you over for dinner…and say “Yes.”
2. Eat 2 portions of vegan wheat gluten BBQ.
3. Follow that up with a serving of BOTH desserts brought by guests.
4. Have ANOTHER serving of said both desserts.
5. Run 3:30 come October 11th.
Visuals of the vegan goodness carnage.
Was it worth it? Hell yeah. Eh, I’ll make sure to run it off tomorrow.
21 miles – Unexpectedly with about 6 miles of quality
Breakfast – English muffin w/ peanut butter, coffee
Brunch – Tofu scramble, toast w/ jelly, water
Dinner – Wheat Gluten BBQ, grilled veggies, water
Dessert – Rocky Road brownies, Cinnamon rolls
Snacks – Coffee, soymilk, grape nuts cereal