Today I ran marathon simulation #1 and it went very well. I woke up motivated and felt great. Even the soreness from Monday’s core work had subsided. The plan was 20 miles with the first ten at an easier aerobic effort and then bring the pace up to ‘race pace’ effort for the final 10.
The first half went great. I felt strong, easy, and relaxed. It was a slight progression as I warmed up and got into the groove. Split 1:04:19 (6:26 pace). On the 2nd half I added a little spice to the pace and got on board. A more focused effort and the relaxation was hard to come by at first – but I blame this on an uphill 11th mile (~6:25). The next mile (my favorite mile 12) cruised through in 5:45 and then I had to work a little to gain the top of mile 13 (6:25?). Mile 14 was just over 6:00 and mile 15 slipped under at 5:58.
Approaching mile 16 the endorphins kicked in and I knew it was coming. First, the discomfort in my legs faded away and then I started feeling fresh. And that old euphoric feeling went into high gear. I passed mile 16 in 5:58 feeling on top of the world. This helped with the uphill mile 17 in 6:15 and I was slightly over 6:00 for mile 18.
And then I entered the “two mile bubble” - where there are just two miles left. The confidence returns and I usually start feeling good again. Uphill to mile 19 in 5:59 and finished with a final mile of 5:49. Second half split: 1:00:44 (6:05 pace).
Total time: 2:05:03 (6:16 average). A brief moment of HOK when I finished then I sat down and drank a bottle of water. After that, I refilled the bottle and walked my recovery. Feeling good about this one.