As noted in my previous posts, the weather lately has been somewhat hostile and has significantly complicated my running sessions. Fortunately, aside from a little rain the weather was much better than it has been in a while - little to no wind and a comfortable 6C. There was still a bit of snow left on the ground from previous days, but most of the pathways were clear so I didn't expect that to be a huge issue.
As I was busy in the morning, I moved the run back to the afternoon and headed out a little after 3:00pm. In addition, I figured that I'd try out a slightly different route than normal, as when I do start increasing mileage again the more roads I'm familiar with the easier it will be to plan things out. The route that I selected incorporated the same return path (and primary hills) that I have been running over the last few weeks, but I took a major road out rather than the residential streets.
The first kilometer was a bit slow as the roads still had a good deal of slush, but once I got out of the subdivision things cleared up nicely. After a quick 22 second stop at the traffic lights, I picked it up again and headed out at a faster pace. I was able to maintain that pace (~4:41/km) for the next seven and a half kilometers without any issues. At this juncture, I was at the southernmost point in the route and began making my way back north. After stopping for another set of traffic lights (12 sec), I had about 2km left to flat ground to run before I hit the hills.
I managed to maintain a 4:45/km pace over this segment and slowed down once I hit the hills to keep my heart rate on track. With the reduced pace (~5:15/km), I managed to keep my heart rate below 170bpm and was still feeling pretty good by the time I cleared them. I was now at the 12km mark and making good time, so I elected to try and see how far I had progressed in the last couple of months. After a brief 24 second traffic stop, I picked it up for the home stretch.
When I got to the 18K mark, I had managed a 4:48/km pace and saw that I was within striking distance of my STWM time so I pushed it a little harder. At this point it started drizzling a little, but with the higher temperatures it was actually somewhat helpful. When I got to the 20K mark, I was at 1:35:38 and therefore needed to do the final 1.1km in 6:08.6 to meet my mark. At this point, I opened up to do the final stretch at a 4:23/km pace and hitting the mark at 1:40:25. Even working the traffic stops into the equation, my total time was still 1:41:23 or about 23 seconds faster than my race.
This certainly shows the benefits of the additional mileage that I've been doing over the last few weeks, as I didn't put anything near race pace into this run. It was certainly harder than my average long run, so it isn't the type of thing I'll do on a regular basis - however by this point I'm pretty well fully recovered so it didn't take too much out of me.
Either way, results are as follows:
Total Distance: 21.1km
Total Time: 1:40:25 (1:41:23 w/traffic stops)
Average Pace: 4:45/km
Average Heart Rate: 162bpm (71% HRR)