My running schedule had me running a back-to-back long runs later this week, but the weather forecast convinced me to move it up. Today was ideal weather (36 deg, slight breeze), with 2-4 inches snow tonight which will affect my run tomorrow. But, every other day for the next 10 days was either very cold (highs in the teens, lows near 0) or snowy, so I decided to just get this big workout over with.
The plan was 5 hrs today (35 miles?), 3.5-4 hrs tomorrow (25 miles?). Pace is about 100 mile race pace (8:30-ish), with a 2 min walk break every 30 minutes. I drove to the IF greenbelt and started at 11 am. Jeff Shadley ran with me the first 75 min, which made the first 9 miles pass very quickly. Good to see him again, and we ran into Dan S, as well. Then I was on my own. I looped all around the various parts of the greenbelt, from Freeman park in the north to Sunnyside in the south. I had a bit of a rough patch from miles 20-25, but then felt much better after that and increased my pace to 7:45/mile for a bit. After 25 miles, my feet and knees were really complaining about the hard blacktop, so I ran the last 10 miles almost exclusively on grass/snow, which made it a bit harder and slower. But, I felt good and enjoyed that part.
I passed the marathon mark at 3:40, which coincidentally is 90 seconds faster than my 2004 Boston marathon time (that's a painful story for another day). The last 90 minutes surprisingly seemed to pass quickly. I slowly increased the pace and really pushed it the last 30 min, with 3-7:30 miles and a final mile of 7:12. Ran exactly 36.01 miles in exactly 5:00:01- 8:20 pace, faster than expected (especially since it included the walk breaks- I didn't stop my watch).
Celebrated the finish with Nestle Quik and a banana. My fueling and gear worked great (no hot spots or blisters), and had no physical problems other than some slight twinging in my right arch which I'll monitor. Tomorrow will be a difficult run, since I'm not fueling a lot before then so I'll intentionally be glycogen depleted. It will hurt like H-E-Double Hockey Stick, but that's the whole point- learn to run when tired. Should be fun.