Tuesday evening was my last speed workout before Sunday’s race. I ran a total of 4.5 miles: 1.5 out and back, then 1.5 of what my coaches call Marshes.
This route was a little different than the Marshes we’ve done in the past, but the concept was the same. Three parallel streets connected on both ends make a roughly half-mile figure eight, so we ran hard effort (for me this was supposed to be 10-mile race pace) up the first hill, left along the upper side street at an easy pace, left down the next street at race pace, right along the lower side street at an easy pace, right up the next hill at race pace, right along the upper side street at an easy pace, right down the middle street again at race pace, then left back to the start at an easy pace. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Except I ran it at a liiiiiiitle faster than 10-mile race pace.
It wasn’t easy, but I kept reminding myself that on Sunday I’ll need to be able to power up the overpass at the end of the 14th Street bridge–and mile nine. So I ran that sequence three times, with a water break after each one. I took it easy on the way back, running and chatting with a new friend, and even then my overall pace was well below what I’ll need to run on Saturday.
I know the transitive property doesn’t necessarily apply here–just because my speed workout (or my 8-miler last Saturday, or my 8K race two weeks ago) was fast enough doesn’t mean that I’ll be able to sustain it over ten miles, straight through. But it doesn’t mean that I won’t, either.
This is a huge, giant, mega-goal for me. But there’s nowhere I’d rather attempt it than this race, with its energy and sights and sounds.
And the weather. Oh happy day, the weather.