There could not have been a more perfect day to put in miles. I excitedly hopped out of bed at 6:00 AM, dressed and grabbed a banana for the road. The temp was around 60 degrees, sun just starting to wink at the trees and the wind softly whispering encouragement.
I started and then continued low and slow concerned more with the addition of mileage and not so much with completed time. Okay, so anyone who has read previous posts knows I am a numbers kind of girl so I did have an approximate time in mind but wasn’t going to sweat it if it did not pan out.
I seemed to be logging in around an 11:15 minute mile which is just slightly over what I want my over all marathon pace to be, but it has been a year since my feet have hit the pavement this many times and I cannot afford an avoidable injury. So kept my feet low and turn over slow and eased through the first 6 1/2 miles.
At this point I decided to take a quick walk break and refuel. I pulled out my GU and gave myself a short distance of .1 miles to gobble up the gel and shake out my tightness. I do not know about anyone else, but I find it hard to force myself to run a pace slower than 10 minutes per mile. It really feels forced, my knees will actually ache more and it seems to be such a struggle. What a strange concept but I’ve experienced it enough now that I’ve decided my body just does not like to run that slow. It’s just not natural.
So after i finished my packet and walked long strides for a slight stretch I decided to do a negative split. For those that may be unfamiliar with this term, a negative split just means you run the first half of your mileage slower than the second half. I have found this to be very effective and today was no different.
I actually let my legs do their own thing and picked up at least 30 to 45 seconds per mile. The second trip felt great. My knees actually stopped hurting even though my feet were yelling. I’m planning on visiting a running store and see what more I can do for my strange drum beat. I’d say I’m an under pronator but not sure that quite fits exactly.
Most under pronators, which from what I’ve read is rare, will land then roll their feet to the outside during push off. Not only do I roll that way but I also land on the outside of my feet. It looks kind of strange when I run and look down to check this out. I try to force myself to land centered but it just isn’t happening. I’m assuming my ankles probably should be a little more flexible and all of the injuries over the many past years of sports have contributed to my odd foot flare.
But even with the pins stabbing my feet, I managed to run the twelve in 2:22:35. Since I did keep my pace slow, there was no labored breathing or strained concentration and I was able to enjoy the sun rising then peeking through the trees, the wind rustling their leaves and the birds singing the wake up song to those still slumbering.
Originally posted on The Loop April 10, 2011