Eastern States 20 MilerLast night, I published my Eastern States 20 Miler race plan. The race was going to be my last long run before beginning my taper for the Boston Marathon. My race plan had four distinct sections to it.

Miles 1 and 2
The first couple of miles were going to serve as my warm up. I meant to get a mile or two of actual warm up before the race, but I got busy chatting with some of the other runners and only jogged around for a minimal amount. I thought that the race had gone out really slow, until we crossed over into New Hampshire at the 1 mile marker and I realized that I was running faster than I wanted to be. That trend continued for another mile, despite chatting with the guys around me.

Miles 2 through 12
The next 10 miles were supposed to be the meat of my workout. I wanted to run between 6:10 and 6:20 pace, and I pretty much managed that. I think that mile 4 was a little long (making mile 5 a little short), which would mean that I basically ran right around 6:10 or a little quicker the entire time. I felt quite comfortable and I am confident that I can run at that pace for most of my marathon, so I think that Boston should turn in a good time for me. I did miss a few mile markers in a row; those three miles took 18 minutes and 33 seconds to run.

Miles 13 through 18
The next 6 miles were supposed to just be junk miles to get through. I wanted to run around 6:25 or 6:30 pace through these miles. I mostly was in the 6:20 to 6:30 range; I’m not really sure exactly how long I spent on these miles since they didn’t seem very accurate. I did impress myself, however, by declining to race with somebody. I kept up the pace that I was supposed to be running, and let him burn himself out chasing down the next guy. By the end of mile 18 I was ready to see what I had left, since I figured that I could probably run in the 5:30 or 5:40 range without much trouble.

Miles 19 and 20
Mile 18 was definitely short. This was lucky, since I wanted to start racing and was getting antsy. The side effect of this, though, is that my 5:40 or 5:50 pace for mile 19 came through as 7:26. I did run a 5:38 for the 20th mile. The goal pace had been to see what was left, and I had just penciled in 6:10 and 6:00.

I felt very good at the end, and had plenty of gas left in the tank. I think that my fueling before and during the race worked out well, and I will probably try to emulate what I did when I get to the marathon. I had a banana a few hours before the race, and another banana and a bagel about 90 minutes before the race. A powerbar an hour ahead of time (well, 75 minutes by the time the race started) along with plenty of water to wash it all down led to plenty of bathroom pit-stops but good hydration and a lot of fuel. I used gel packs during the run.

After I got finished running, I chatted with some of the other runners for a few minutes and then cooled down for a few miles on the beach. That is one of the advantages of living near the ocean; there are plenty of races with amazing views.

Here is the breakdown of my splits:

Mile Predicted Pace Actual Pace Predicted Time Actual Time
1 7:00 6:37 0:07:00 0:06:37
2 7:00 6:34 0:14:00 0:13:12
3 6:15 6:06 0:20:15 0:19:19
4 6:15 6:29 0:26:30 0:25:48
5 6:15 5:49 0:32:45 0:31:38
6 6:15 6:12 0:39:00 0:37:51
7 6:15 (6:11) 0:45:15 (0:44:02)
8 6:15 (6:11) 0:51:30 (0:50:13)
9 6:15 (6:11) 0:57:45 0:56:25
10 6:15 6:13 1:04:00 1:02:38
11 6:15 5:55 1:10:15 1:08:34
12 6:15 6:09 1:16:30 1:14:01
13 6:30 6:39 1:23:00 1:21:24
14 6:30 6:19 1:29:30 1:27:43
15 6:30 6:33 1:36:00 1:34:16
16 6:30 6:16 1:42:30 1:40:33
17 6:30 6:26 1:49:00 1:46:59
18 6:30 4:45 1:55:30 1:51:45
19 6:10 7:26 2:01:40 1:59:11
20 6:00 5:38 2:07:40 2:04:49