TITLE: An Easier 22 Miles AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: August 13, 2006 11:16 AM DESC: ----- BODY: Just a quick update on preparation for the Twin Cities. What a difference two weeks can make. My 20-miler two weeks ago didn't feel all that good to me. It was hot and humid, and I was sore and tired. At the end, I was wiped out for a day or two. This morning was cool and dry. My legs felt a little heavy, but I was able to run 9-minute miles without much effort, I was starting to drag by the 14-mile mark, so I did two things: drank a little Powerade and set my mind on picking the pace up to 8:30/mile for a marked four-mile stretch up ahead. You might think that thinking about speeding up would be the wrong thing for me to do when I start dragging, but in this case I judged the fatigue to be more mental than physical. My legs weren't slowing down; I was just feeling the weight of the miles left to run. In such a case, I find that I can perk myself up with a little speed-up. It gives my mind something positive to focus on and improves my mood. I've been successful doing this on training rains the last few years, but during my marathons. I wonder what I can do in six weeks to convert this into a racing tool? The fast four miles went better than expected: 8:10, 8:12, 7:52, 7:47. That's a cool 32:01 -- my marathon goal pace. And the last two miles coming home felt just fine. A much better day. Let's see what next week's 24-miler, the crest of my mileage buildup, brings. -----