Yesterday was cool and rainy, I decided to use this break in the summer heat to test my legs. After talking with my wife last night, I decided to try to get ready to run the Baden Marathon in Karlsruhe on September 22. This leaves me with only 10 weeks to train, and my base mileage is questionable, so I decided to see how far I can run comfortably, so I can set a starting point for my long runs.
As I set out over the fields into the forest beyond, I decided to try to maintain an average of around 6:15/km (10:00/mi) and run at least 18 km (11 mi). I quickly dropped into my running zone and wound my way over the familiar trails.
By kilometer 16 I was beginning to feel the strain, my longest run since March was only 15 kilometers and that was in May. The rest of the runs were 10-12 kilometers. I pushed on, trying to ignore the increasing discomfort in my legs. By kilometer 18 I was ready to quit, but I was still 3 kilometers from home, so despite a steady decreasing tempo, kept moving. I struggled through kilometer 19, trying my best to keep the feet moving, my body was reminding me of marathons past. Finally I made it to the 20 kilometer point and decided to walk the last kilometer out, my legs were trashed.
I ended up running the 20 km (12.4 mi) in 2:07:11, an average pace of 6:22/km (10:14/mi), a bit slower than I hoped, but 2 kilometers farther than I figured on. I decided that if I can repeat this distance on the weekend and still walk on Monday, then I will start training for the marathon.
This morning my legs are in pretty good shape, but the muscles are a bit sore. In any case let the journey begin.