The only other time I did the Snowbuster was 2017. I did that one as part of a 14 mile run that was primarily with my running group. Two years ago, I was routinely running longer than most of them, so the first half was with the group and eventually I was alone toward the end. I just made a point of noting my 13.1 time. I didn't really do it as a race.
I didn't this year either. My plan called for a 20 mile run easy with the last two at between 5k and 10K pace.
I'm in the home stretch of training for the Carmel Marathon on March 30. It will be my second marathon. The last one was Marshall in November. I was going to do Carmel last year, but ended up with Achilles tendinitis right around the start of February. I've made it a month longer this time (fingers crossed) and I've got about 100 more miles in the books at this point than I did for Marshall.
With the crazy weather this year, I've had to adjust my long run each weekend to avoid the typical upper 30 degree steady rain we seem to get each weekend. The weekend before, I set another new distance PR on the treadmill - 16 miles. I don't think I can do much farther than that. It's too repetitive for my legs.
So Saturday was supposed to be kind of decent. 30 degrees in the morning warming to maybe the low 40s by the afternoon. The forecast for Sunday was a winter weather advisory. Easy choice!
I'm not really a morning runner anyway, so I decided to shoot for early afternoon. My Kentucky Wildcats were playing a big basketball game at 2PM, so since I was going to be running about 3 hours, I figured I could start a little before tip-off, listen to pre-game, game and post-game to get me through. More on that later.
Spent the morning doing chores around the house, hydrating, eating lunch early at 10:30 and doing my PT stretches that I continue to do after the Achilles thing last year.
Got my stuff together and headed out at 1:30. I was wearing shorts, long sleeve running shirt with a short sleeve shirt over it, gloves and a buff on my head. I promptly went back inside, lost the short sleeve and replaced it with a light jacket.
Plan was to run with my handheld bottle around my neighborhood (for those on Strava, I'm sure you think I'm a wacko for doing so many miles in a small neighborhood. You might be right). I was going to sip Tailwind at each mile for the first hour or so and then stop at my house for a quick gel, electrolyte tab and a splash of Powerade (that's what they have at the Carmel water stations so I'm getting used to it) every 45 minutes after that.
I started out with the pace around 9:15 or so in the beginning doing the neighborhood laps and listening to the game. I'd slow to a walk for a few steps at the start of each mile and take a sip. I can't drink while I'm running and it only slows you down for a second or two that you can make right up. I was kind of in a groove and wasn't going through the tailwind very fast and I actually just kept going without stopping back at the house for 13.5 miles or so.
The pace crept a little faster as I went along, but I did a good job of keeping it just above 9:00.
Took the quick pit stop at 13.5 and headed back out. The basketball game was going badly.....very badly. I stopped again at a little over 17 for a splash and go and clicked my mp3 player from radio to my music. I figured I could use the uptempo stuff for my final 2 quick miles.
At mile 18, I picked up the pace. I managed to get that one done pretty close to my target. It was 7:28. If you've never tried to do a couple of fast-for-you miles at the end of a long run, you should give it a try. I think it will help at the end of the marathon.
I ended up backing off a little bit on the second mile. I had the lungs, energy, etc., but my hamstring felt really tight like it might cramp. I'd back off a touch and then speed back up until it felt like it was going to cramp again. That one came in at 7:55. A little disappointing, but over all that was probably my best 20 miler in terms of how I felt. I've only done 5 or 6 of them, so I don't have a lot to compare to, though.
Here's a link to the run on Strava. If you want, you can zoom in real close and see just how many laps I really did. Or maybe don't so you don't start suspecting I'm insane.
Took a picture/selfie before I started, but it looks dumb so I'm not posting it.
Do we get bonus Snowbuster points for actually blogging about it?