26 in 34

My 26 mile time is now at 34 hours. (Well, 26.2, if I’m talking about the distance that will matter. But the 34 hour mark isn’t super precise, either. This was the first attempt, and I didn’t even decide until mile 21 that I was going to do it, so I didn’t bother keeping super close track.) Obviously the 26 weren’t all together. It was something like 1/1/.5/1.5/1/13/.5/.5/1/1/5. Now, while I don’t plan on this blog becoming inundated by posts about my fitness, it is nonetheless my web log, so I’m going to note some observations that I will presumably come back to in a few months. For the people who are or have been into running, this is probably all obvious. Maybe. Maybe it’s more idiosyncratic. Regardless.

  • I could probably chip the time down a fair bit if I actually planned ahead. The 13 mile chunk was at the end of a day that already included two full body strength workouts. My legs were already feeling like gelatin.
  • My sense of speed is not very consistent. Near the beginning I was keeping around 10 mph. By the end I was closer to 4 mph. They felt about the same.
  • Which song was playing had a lot to do with my speed. More than local progress, though less than global progress. (I.e. with a faster song, mile 3 is faster than mile 1, but mile 26 is not faster than mile 3. Unless I intentionally take mile 3 really slowly, of course.)
  • Around mile 10 of the 13 mile stretch (15 overall) I felt what may have been the greatest physical sensation I have ever felt.
  • Turns out if you sweat enough, when it dries, there will be visible grains of salt on your face.
  • The hardest mile was the nineteenth. I.e., the first one after sleeping. I assumed I was going to take a rest day because of how much it hurt to move. After three miles the pain subsided.
  • Thirteen in a row probably felt better than the twenty-six over thirty-four hours. I felt done at the end of the thirteen. Writing this at the end of the twenty-six, I feel like I should go run some more.
  • I was wondering why my thighs were okay after the eighteen. Then today when I added the eight I realized yesterday was in athletic pants. I guess now I can justify getting some nice athletic pants.
  • Getting Little Caesars midway through the final five was a nice energy boost, but also acid shooting up my throat was unpleasant.
  • I hadn’t really gone far past feeling like jello before. Apparently somewhere later is feeling like stone.
  • I hate treadmills.
  • While my presumed eventual goal is 26 in 5, as an intermediate step, condensing the chunks into 13 and 13 first might be more feasible. (Or just working up from 13 to 14 to 15 to….Or, combine the two. 14 and 12, 15 and 11, 16 and 10…..)
  • While speed isn’t really a big concern, at least for now, I do wonder what kind of pacing would be most effective. I clearly started fast and slowed down. There were some local peaks and valleys, but the overall trend was significantly downward. I wonder if keeping a more steady rate would be more efficient.
  • Also, while I did not aim for any speed, I did aim for intensity throughout. My primary ongoing goal was to defeat any urge to slow down. That is, my goal was to run at the maximum sustainable speed, with occasional sprints.
  • The sudden bursts of energy to sprint surprised me. They aligned with my music, but in the middle of mile 13 (8 of the 13 mile stretch) I was able to sustain 10 mph for thirty seconds. I had similar, though slower, bursts in miles 18 and 26.
  • I am really surprised at how little wear these shoes from Rue 21 have taken. I assumed this would destroy them.
  • Running far away from home in order to force myself to run the second half remains an effective technique.
  • Riverside has a lot of intersections. Lest I go 130-260 laps around the track in the gym, I need to find some extended area without breaks outside.
  • Riverside at night is a lot less scary while running.
  • Pop punk, power metal, thrash metal, and industrial metal, while normally excellent kinds of music, are also excellent for running. Particularly the speedier songs within. “M&Ms” by blink-182, “Once in a Lifetime” by DragonForce, “All Nightmare Long” by Metallica, and “Never Surrender” by Combichrist are some examples.
  • Pop punk and power metal are good for peppy songs to feel good to. Thrash and industrial metal are good for songs to power through pain to.
  • Part of the trick with training this skill will be that it takes quite a bit of time. And this is an extremely busy quarter for me. I know the 13 mile stretch was done in 2 hours. I imagine the total time was somewhere between 5 and 6 hours, maybe 7 because of how sluggish the end got. Even if it was only 5, that’s a lot of time out of two days. Perhaps weekends will be of some use. Or the summertime.
  • Given I really only started running with any regularity a little over two months ago, I am surprised.
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