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Blind Man's Bluff



Yes, I know it's Blind Man's "Buff". Bear with me for a minute.

Another week of marathon training is done, and all systems are still running smoothly.

Monday was an easy 7 the day after my 10K. A little stiff, but felt better than expected.

Tuesday was gym day, and then I did 11 and 9 on Wed-Thur. A nice mid-week double that was no problem. My body is really getting used to the extra miles. I rested Friday because my first 20 was coming on Saturday.

My pattern (for years) has been to run my long runs too fast. I ease into the first five miles on the wood chip trail, gradually speed up, and then hit the beach bike path for the rest and drop down to marathon pace. I just can't help it, although I know I should be going slower. But I also love the feedback that tells me I can run this fast for that long.

So this week I decided to change my Garmin settings so I couldn't see my pace. All I could see was distance and cadence. I hoped it would let me just relax and run. Then I could check my splits when I got home. (Because I couldn't just leave the watch at home. Don't be silly.) Normally I totally am a slave to my splits. Those perfect negative splits aren't accidental, as much as I may lie to myself. And with 98 strava followers...yeah, it motivates me every day.

So I planned to be a "blind man" and just run. So I went out easy on a perfect overcast morning, temps in the 50s. As I approached mile one I realized that the Garmin was still on auto-lap. So it would buzz and show me my split at the end of each mile. Aargh! Of course I could just refuse to look at it for those few seconds...

Hahaha! That wasn't possible. I looked. It was 9:02. About what I expected. Actually a little faster. During mile two I considered my options. Not looking. Turning off auto-lap. But I decided to go ahead and check each mile. I still wouldn't know the pace during the mile, so it was a little different than normal. But not too much. So I was bluffing. About the blind man thing...

Anyway, the run went basically like all my long runs. The splits were very close to what I expected, because I can pretty much tell how fast I'm running. The first 5 on trail were 902, 845, 832, 826, 815. The sixth mile over the hill was 825. And then on the beach I did this.

803, 806, 750, 751, 739, 750, 748, 753, 755, 800, 755, 756, 752, 800.

It was awesome. I was cruising, not pushing. Felt pretty fatigued the last five, but worked on keeping my form and pace consistent. I must say I did make a little extra effort hoping to keep those splits under 8:00 all the way through 20. If I was watch-less, would I have run that fast? I think so.

Sunday I went out for another six on tired legs, and left the watch the same. Still ran my usual negative splits. Tired, but ran my usual pace for easy days. Finished up a 53.1 mile week, which is my biggest week since 1981. I am now at higher mileage than any previous marathon cycles, and injury-free, so I'm feeling pretty confident and hopeful. But then I said the same thing last year and Boston didn't work out. So I plan to keep on adding miles for two more weeks before a 3-week taper.

Life is good.

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With my Garmin playing up so much the last few weeks I've wondered if I'd be better ditching it than thinking "I'm pushing hard on this tempo but Garmin says you're only easy pace" or "I feel I'm running easy but apparently I'm at steady pace". 

I think I'd be like you & run the same pace regardless 'cause I'm used to knowing my paces by feel now...but I can't help myself & constantly check my watch.

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This is the way Prince Henry is always set. Just a quick check at the end of each mile and I can let my mind wander the rest of the time. When I'm running, that is. :(

Of course you never know, but things are certainly looking strong going in for you.

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Gosh, I haven't played that version of tag in decades. I played freeze tag a few months ago, though. 

Also, nice 20. 

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Blind man baring all and running 20 in the buff. Got it.

You know how impossible it is to predict how a marathon will go, but it sounds like you're doing everything you can to make it a good one. 

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Like a metronome...a progressive metronome that is!

I'm still not sure how you run fast on the beach unless you are running on the concrete boardwalk? If that's on the sand LA isn't going to stand a chance.

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2 hours ago, ocrunnergirl said:

I'm still not sure how you run fast on the beach unless you are running on the concrete boardwalk? If that's on the sand LA isn't going to stand a chance.

It's on the bike path. I almost never run in the sand.

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23 hours ago, BANGLE said:

It's on the bike path. I almost never run in the sand.

LA still isn't going to stand a chance, but good to know you are human and not running those paces in quicksand.

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