Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pacing Questions for the Marathon

I want to post more on here about my runs, all of them really.  But the problem comes when I am home for the weekends, as I usually spend about 30 minutes on the internet the whole weekend, and that is usually to check banking and log my runs.  Plus with two little kids I spend more time with them during the day, and only get on later at night, which leads to diminished posting. So I spend most of my Loop time during the week.

Last week I had wanted to post after several runs.  Like a run last Wednesday when I ran 5 miles down at the park.  I was only going to do 4 then I found myself out at 3.5 with a 1.5 mile run back to the car so I finished up the 5, aided mostly by another runner running several feet behind me at the same pace, so that we could hear each other's foot falls for my last mile.

Then there was Friday, where I had little desire to run (probably because I hate hills), but put on the gear and hit the hill anyway.  Last year I had to walk portions of the hill when I started running it in preparation for Bloomsday, but this year, I ran the whole thing on the first go (the hill is approx. 0.75 miles with a climb of about 225ft.).  So I am reviewing my plan and how to work running the hill multiple times to gain the benefits.

Of course, Sunday I did a "long" run, it was a cut back (long run wise)week, so we did 6 miles as a group, but I added on about 1.5 for a nice 7.5 mile run.  It was slower than we have been running some of our long runs, coming in at 9:30 m/m instead of the 8:30m/m, but I attribute that to a long week and tired legs.

Later Sunday the discussion of pacing came up.  My marathon partner and his wife, and my wife and I, went wine tasting at several of the local wineries (and if you have been to SE Washington, there are a ton).  During this nice (child free) afternoon, the topic of how we were traveling to SF, and several other marathon related topics were discussed, including that of using our friend, M, as a pacer.  He is really good for it, as he is a 9:30-10 m/m guy, and doesn't vary too much.  We really want to use him during the longer runs to help keep us in check and not over-exert ourselves during the strenuous long runs.  This inevitably led to GPS watches, and if we could use them to do this type of pacing for us.  At this point I should caution that we both use our phone and the RunKeeper App to track our runs, but it's limitation is that it can't really do pacing.  It does distance, and gives an average pace based on miles (or time), or does instantaneous the same  way, but seems like it lacks the ability to hit precise pacing requirements.

So, I hit up the great reference of the Loop in hopes of coming to a decisive answer, and thusly, was told to get one I wouldn't regret it.  However, I have yet to run out and find one of those lovely little devices.
Last week was a 21.5 mile week, with 4 days of running, so I feel pretty confident about where I am at right now as we get closer to marathon training. This week, I started out with three basketball games, and have yet to do normal running (today I blame the wind, and will probably hit the stationary bike tonight to make up for it). Back at it with a smaller mileage week, before picking it up again next week and increasing mileage. Have fun out there guys, and thanks in advance for the responses about watches.

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