17.21 miles today. Slow and difficult -- average pace in the 11s. Yikes. It is hard to believe that just 2 weeks ago I did a half at a pace of 9:31.
A huge thanks to L for joining me for 5 miles in the middle. It made it so much easier to head out at 7 AM knowing I only had to make it 'til 8:30 before I'd have company for 5 miles and then just 4ish downhill miles from L's house to mine and I'd be done.
As I've said before, I'm a bit skeptical of the FIRST program. 6 weeks before CIM and my weekly mileage is 32.37 and this is one of the heavier weeks I've done, in terms of volume, which just feels wrong. Last time, on the Hansen's plan, week -6 was 47.53 miles, with a long run of 10. I definitely felt that the lack of longer runs on the Hansen's plan was an issue for me on the actual race day. But now, I'm just not sure that trading more longer long runs for less overall volume is a great idea either.
I was supposed to be able to maintain a 9:39 pace for today's 17-miler. In theory, given my recent half, this should have been completely doable. And yet, I struggled the entire time. My digestive system was not happy with me, my stomach was upset, I needed two pitstops, and my legs just felt dead.
I'm hoping part of the issue today is the decreased mileage I subbed in while on vacation and that the benefits from this week kick in before next week's 20 miler. If not, that is going to be an even longer, uglier slog.