The last few weeks I seem to have been lolloping along on my long runs, which in preparation for Clearwater are in the 1hr 50min range at the moment. I can't get my pace much below 7:10min/mile and I normally get about 15miles in. I know that it is partially due to the cumbersome Camelbak that I am running with (need to carry at least 50oz of liquid for that distance with the heat) as I always feel like a packhorse rather than a gazelle but still I never feel ready to push the pace.
So last week I begun to look at potential spring marathons. Besides the IMFL marathon and my ultras I have never run a stand-alone marathon and I am interested to see how I could do.....obviously under 3hrs would be the goal and with a 3hr 43mins IM marathon and a PR of 1hr 19min for the 1/2 marathon I think that it should be achievable. The marathon that looks quite appealing is the Shamrock Marathon down in Virginia Beach on March 16, 2008.....having a beer as your main sponsor certainly helps!
With that in mind, I proceeded to try and push the pace on my next long run and see what I could do and for how long. Much to my surprise, even with my packhorse in tow, I managed to keep up a consistent 6:50min/mile pace and surpass 16miles in the allotted 1hr 50mins. It felt good as well and I could have continued were it not for the fact that dinner was waiting at home :-) The Power of Positive Thinking is definitely a huge deal (not that us endurance athletes didn't know that already) but with that success last week I can't wait for this weeks long run and then the forthcoming 70.3M World Championships....what better place than to try the "Go From the Gun" approach!