Just 3.1 miles short of a Goofy Challenge this weekend! If I extrapolate out my Sunday run it would have been my beaten my 4 official Goofy Challenges quite well. Granted you run the races a bit different when you are actually at Disney World but still that is a nice confidence builder to see the continued progress.
Especially after a failed long run attempt last weekend…
Sunday’s run represented a bit of a redemption!
Last Sunday’s long run fell apart and I had to call for a pick up to get home – so I knew I wanted to get a really good long run in for this Sunday. The schedule called for 13.1 (back to back 13.1’s with Saturdays half marathon distance run) but I figured I wanted to go further than that.
So Saturday night I loaded up my hydration backpack with Gatorade and a bunch of snacks and put a bottle of water in the fridge. And then was up and out of the house Sunday morning at 6 am with a rough plan of where I wanted to go and how far I would push.
I did the first 2 hours doing run/walk cycles of 15 minutes of running and then a minute of walking making sure to have a couple snacks during the walk breaks and drink water and Gatorade regularly. I kept my speed at around 6.1 or 6.2 mph giving me right around 12 miles at the 2 hour mark – I was making sure to take it easy and conserve energy. The first 2 hours were done almost entirely on gravel roads and groomed gravel trails.
After 2 hours I was still feeling well but decided to switch the run/walk cycles to 10 minutes run to 1 minute walk with slightly increased snack and liquid intake. I kept up that pacing for about 1 hour 20 minutes or so with pacing a little bit slower than the first 2 hours – at the 3 hour mark I was at 17.7 miles.
At about the 3:33 mark I had made it back to my house but I was under 21 miles and felt that I wanted to push it further than that so I decided that I would push on to the 4 hour mark. Switching from 10-1 to 5-1 at around the 3:20 mark helped restore my energy otherwise I might have stopped at this point.
To hit the 4 hour mark I decided I would run out from my house until I hit the 3:45 mark then turn around and come back expecting that if I ran out 12 minutes it would take me maybe 13 or 14 coming back as I was tiring out. Surprisingly I picked up my pace on the return and it only took me 11 minutes to come back – I contribute that to the 5-1 split giving me more rest time so I could actually do a faster run pace.
This also meant that now I had 3-4 minutes to kill before the 4 hour mark – at this point I just ran up and down my street and it my driveway at exactly 4:00 with a total of 23.1 miles.
A very solid run and my legs felt great and I never once bonked or hit the wall. Interestingly if I extrapolate out to 26.2 miles I would have been my 3rd or 4th fastest marathon. Not too bad considering my walk breaks and the fact that I was deliberately not trying to go too fast.
I definitely learned some things from that run – including that the right solid snacks worked better for me and my system than gels and other liquidy fuels. I was also able to hydrate properly for a change – ran for 4 hours and was only down 3 pounds – for a guy who is 220 pounds that is not too bad a ratio for that kind of run.
I will still be experimenting more with the run walk cycles on the really long runs – I am wondering if switching out to 10-1 run/walk cycles earlier in the run would help even more. We will have to see. Lots of things to try!