Today was a great day! My goal was to complete three laps of White Rock Lake. The lake trail (pavement, asphalt) is about 9.25 miles, so my final mileage would be around 27.75 or so. My goal was to do the first two loops in 12:00 per mile, then maintain whatever speed I could for the last loop.
I got up at 4:00 AM and was at the lake and ready to walk at 5:30. The first loop went well: 9.26 miles in 1:50:38, an 11:57 pace. Right on target. I was taking in calories every 30 minutes: Jelly Belly Sports Beans, a Vanilla PowerBar Gel, and part of a Clif Bar. I was carrying water in my Camelbak.
I stopped at my car to refill my pack. I ate some potato chips and drank some gatorade.
The next loop went even better than the first: 1:49:29, an 11:53 pace. The lap felt a little more labored than the first but overall it was relatively easy and smooth. Again I ate every 30 minutes: half of a PB&J sandwich, some more Sports Beans, then the other half of the sandwich.
Again I stopped at my car to refill. I finished the gatorade, ate half of a PowerBar, drank some water, took two Advil and then started my final lap.
Surprisingly, this loop was the best of all. I walked 3.75 miles in 44:18, an 11:49 pace. At this point I ran into some friends and a fellow coach from Team in Training, Dave and his wife Meg. We chatted very briefly (I love seeing people I know at the lake, especially TNT folks - it's like a big family). I started up again and felt faster than ever. I was doing a 10:30 pace and realized I needed to slow it down. I finished the rest of the loop 1:02:38, an 11:34 pace! Overall my pace for the day was 11:50, and I felt great. I was tired but not exhausted, and I wasn't sore at all.
A big part of today's success was the weather. A mild cool front and rainstorm came through early this morning so the day was slightly cooler and overcast. The temps were in the low 70s when I started and were in the low- to mid-80s when I finished. I don't think I would have finished as strong if the weather had gotten warmer faster.
Today's workout gave me some needed confidence going into my next race, Capt'n Karl's All Nighter (a 12 hour race starting at 7:30 PM on Saturday night, July 19). I still don't know how well I'll do, but I feel like if I control my pace I can feel strong throughout most of the race. I don't have any mileage goals for the race - I just want to stay on my feet the whole 12 hours and avoid any "death march" loops at a sluggish pace.
Distance: 27.65 miles