Onward to CIM, One Mile at a Time

By: Asia Shah

This past Sunday we were presented with the opportunity to get in a good pre-marathon workout in the context of the Run For the Water 10 miler.  This means that we got to take advantage of the perks of the race course; mile markers, water stops, bodies all around, and hoards of people cheering on from the roadside.  Kam and I had completed our long run on Thursday so that we could use the race as a workout without 20 miles in our legs from the day before (very good call). Our objective was to begin around marathon goal pace (6:40/mile) for the first mile or two and settle in at 6:25-30 pace once we got rolling. Piece of cake!

We got moving at 6:28 for the first mile, which was somewhat surprising given the multitude of guys who decided to cut us off and run the most random lines possible, zigging and zagging as if we were on a mogul run. Once we made it a few miles we were relatively free of interference and hit a good consistent stride heading into the hilly section. In the last few months alone we have covered this same ground many times, so though I know it backwards and forwards, familiarity breeds boredom, or in my case, ANGER. Knowing that my strength is running fast downhill will little effort, Kam and I knew that we were likely to yo-yo with one another until it flattened out a bit. Down I would go, pulling ahead, up we would go, Kam catching up and inching ahead…rinse and repeat.

Fast forward past Pecos (wish we could have during the race) and we turn hard onto Enfield directly into a long, gradual uphill. We are hitting our splits and actually need to mind our coach and cool it a little as we allow the downhill stretch to carry us forward faster than planned. With three miles to run we simply needed to maintain and finish it up. Of course, the pace came down a bit as we smelled the finish and allowed our momentum to continue. That last bump up Cesar Chavez was not the most fun I’ve ever had, and this has been the consensus of several other runners in our group. In the end it was a non-issue as we crossed the line in good time to seal the good-workout deal.

So now you’re probably wondering, “What now?!”, and that is a great question! In a few days we will be in San Francisco enjoying the city, and we will end our trip with a half marathon along the bay. It will likely evolve into another marathon-focused workout at some point this week, but as of now, it could be part of a 20 mile run, or a more targeted effort with some doozies for hills thrown in! Oh, and a giant red bridge.

The following week we will head to San Antonio to run the Rock & Roll half marathon. This will be a targeted marathon paced effort at around 6:30-40 range for 15 miles. Yes, we will need to add about two miles outside of the race (damn). I am looking forward to this test because it will hopefully provide me with some mental practice, pace familiarity, and confidence that holding that pace for another 11 miles will be possible.  Plus, the course is pretty flat and somewhat familiar to me after two runs in the past.  At this point, our fitness is there we just need to translate it to running a solid marathon.  Nothing heroic or out of this world, solid will do.

I will report back in about a week with the latest in our trek to fast running at CIM!

All smiles after the work is done

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