Mother Nature just has to make things tougher for us. As I stepped out the door, all I hear is the sound of trees and leaves blowing. This can't be good. I went back in to check the forecast. 50 degrees with 30% chance of rain and wind from NNW at 15 mph gusting to 25 mph. As I drove to post (Ft Bragg) I could feel my jeep swerve a bit from the gust of wind. This long run is going to take a lot of effort. When I got to my usual starting location and shut off my jeep, it begins to pour. $h*t, just freakin perfect! Rain, wind, and the cold mixed together just don’t motivate me. After about 10 minutes of being a wuss, I toughed it out and headed for the long run. It stopped raining about a mile into my run. I wasn't all that soaked until some jackass drove right beside me into a huge puddle of water and gave me a cold shower. He probably meant it because he had a free lane he could have switched to. I was so close to giving him the finger.
Besides running into wind half the time, my run went very well. I was consistently running between 6:30 and 6:40 pace. I hit the first 10 miles in 1:06:48 (6:41 pace), then reached 20 miles in 2:12 flat (11-20 miles in 1:05:12 - 6:31 pace). I was feeling good and the legs seemed to find its rhythm. The 20 mile mark in the marathon is a crucial point in the race. I was visualizing finishing strong in Rocket City, so I decided to pick up the pace for the remaining 4 miles. I hit the last 4 miles in 24:38 (6:22, 6:11, 6:10, & 5:55). The legs felt good afterwards. Thinking about it, I could have easily run the last 2.2 miles at 6:30 pace and finish the marathon as a long run in a sub-2:51.
Here is a comparison of the same 24 mile run I did in January for the Austin Marathon.
1/22/06: 24 miles in 2:42:30 (6:46 pace)
11/12/06: 24 miles in 2:36:38 (6:32 pace)
Today's Run: 24 miles (2:36:38 - 6:32 pace)
Weekly Mileage: 90 miles (9 sessions)