Steamtown Marathon Diary: Running with a Champion

Another 70 mile week is officially in the books. This was the first time this summer I hit 70 without the aid of a 20 mile long run, so I had to run seven days in a row, but my body has held up so far. Besides, in the spring, I managed to go something like three weeks in a row without taking a day off. That said, I’m happy with how my long run this week turned out, although the ending may have been a touch high on the intensity scale.

As opposed to a proper workout mid-week, I decided to get in some hills, which I’ve been avoiding too much this summer, but ascending the hills felt more like climbing a mountain. Admittedly, I did go up some of the steepest hills in Scranton, but I was nonetheless disappointed with the pace at which I crawled up them. Note to self: get in more hills.

I went down to Scranton Running Company yesterday to buy some new shoes and talked to the owner, Matt Byrne, who has run the Steamtown Marathon several times, even winning it twice. Byrne and I decided to do a long run the next morning .Needless to say, the pace was quick. We ended up going a bit shy of 17 miles at about 6:35 pace. Given that even my 15 mile long runs are 6:55 on a good day, that was definitely quick. But I’m happy about because it gave me a boost of confidence after how poorly my hill workout went. Plus, I stuck with a two-time marathon champion for almost 17 miles. Even still, I’m being cautious and keeping my goal time around 2:50, but I may revise it as the marathon gets closer. It was a beautiful chilly morning for our run. Autumn is in the air and I can’t wait.

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