Sean's Running Blog

Tacoma Half Marathon

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Location:

Snoqualmie,WA,

Member Since:

Feb 24, 2007

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Local Elite

Running Accomplishments:

  • 2011 Boston Marathon -- 2:27 (Top 50)
  • 2011 Steilacoom 20k -- 1:04:57 (1st)
  • 2010 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon -- 2:26 (7th) 
  • 2010 Fall City 10k -- 31:06 (1st)
  • 2009 Indy Mini Marathon -- 1:07:53 (7th)
  • 2009 WWU Invitational -- 10000m (30:58)
  • 2009 UW Indoor Meet -- 5000m (14:49)
  • 2008 Orem Turkey Run -4 miler -- 19:55 (1st)
  • 2008 Seafair Torchlight 8k--25:03 (3rd) 
  • 2008 Time to Fly 5k -- 15:35 (1st)
  • 2008 Newport Marathon -- 2:22:47 (1st)
  • Steilacoom 15M--1:18:30 (1st)
  • 2007 Olympic Trials -- 2:30:41 (91st)
  • 2007 St. George --2:18:55 (3rd)

Short-Term Running Goals:

  • Feb 23 -- Ft Steilacoom 15M
  • March 23  – Ft. Steilacoom 20k
  • April 15  – Boston Marathon
  • June 8 – Sound to Narrows 12k
  • June 22  – Grandma’s Half Marathon (USATF Champs.)
  • July 7 – Run of the Mill 5k
  • July 27 – Torchlight 8k
  • September – SJJ Half (maybe)
  • October/November – Fall Marathon (maybe)
  • December – Club XC Nationals

Long-Term Running Goals:

 Stay healthy

Personal:

Ran track my junior and senior years in high school and cross country my senior year. Went to BYU but did not run. Served LDS church mission to San Bernardino, CA. Started running again in April 2005. Marathon debut was St. George in 2005.

I coach the Mount Si High School Track Team (distance)

Been married for almost 17 years. My wife, Mara, and I have four kids ages 16, 14, 13 and 11.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Brooks T5 Lifetime Miles: 34.00
Ravenna Lifetime Miles: 250.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
240.0545.2026.102.00313.35
Weight: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.000.000.0011.00

Another cold but dry morning. Meandered through the neighborhood at about 7:00 pace. Feeling pretty good.

Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.100.000.000.0012.10

Overcast today but pretty pleasant temperature wise so a t-shirt is all I needed. Days like this are perfect because you get get exposure to the sun (sunburn) yet it's warm enough to go light on the clothing. I split my run up today 50/50 soft surface and hard surface. Ran on the gravel Lake Sammamish trail and then through Marymoor Park to the Sammamish River Trail. Yes...alot of Sammamishes. Anyway, feeling pretty good. 10-mile tempo run tomorrow in the middle of my 20-22 mile long run.

Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.0010.000.000.0021.00

Cool, overcast morning that started with a light drizzle during the first couple of miles. I ran from home four miles to the HS track and did a 10-mile cut-down tempo run. Followed by a 7-mile "cooldown."

Workout was 6M @ 5:40, 2M @ 5:30 and 2 @ 5:20

Results:

5:40

5:38

5:36

5:38

5:37

5:36

5:28

5:28

5:22

5:17

Felt good although I felt like I normally do when the cut downs start at 5:24 and finish at 5:00 or 4:52. Still getting back into shape.

Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

12 easy miles under crisp blue skies this morning. Rain forecast for the rest of the week so I made sure to enjoy the lovely weather this morning. Still have some tightness in the quad. I'm planning on running the Newport marathon on the 31st so it will be interesting to see if my body holds up. I'm going to jump into the Tacoma half marathon this Saturday as a test run.

Weight: 0.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.100.000.000.0011.10

Easy run through the neighborhood this morning. Quite chilly. Wondering when spring will get here. I beat the rain though. Now I have to sit on an airplane for two hours this morning and two more hours tonight. Ick

Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.100.000.002.0013.10

13+ mile run today which included a 1x2000m @ 6:00 with 2:30 rest afterward rolling into 4x300m repeats @48-50 with 1:00 rest between each rep. I was onn pace through four laps on the 2000m crossing at 4:50 but really slowed down the last lap finishing in 6:05. I hit each of the 300m reps at :50. I opted to wear my trainers the whole time rather than switch into the lighter racers which are half of the weight but I doubt that had much to do with anything over such a short distance. Still debating whether to run the Tacoma Half Marathon this weekend or to run in the PNTF Track Championships at Husky Stadium running the 5000m. I've never run that distance on the track (or on the roads for that matter) so I'm curious how I would do. However, I also don't want to go get slapped around by a bunch of 20-something kids. Based on how difficult it was to try for a 6:00 2000m today, I doubt seriously that I could break 15:00 which is the time I would probably need to avoid looking too silly. Coach wants me to do the 5000m. I'm leaning toward the half. We'll see who wins.

Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

Ran to the gym and back this morning where I worked on core strength.

Added 10 miles this afternoon at lunch. Everything feels pretty good. I've decided to run the half this weekend so I'm kind of getting excited about that.

Weight: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

Eight easy miles this morning ahead of tomorrow's half marathon. Everything seems to be functioning properly. It will be interesting to see how things hold up tomorrow.

Weight: 0.00
Comments(1)
Race: Tacoma Half Marathon (13.1 Miles) 01:09:47, Place overall: 1, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.0013.100.0019.10

Deciding whether or not to run this race was perhaps more difficult than running the race itself. My coach wanted me to run in the PNTF 5000m at Husky Stadium and I wanted to run the half but was concerned that either one might put me back on the injured reserve list only three weeks away from the Newport Marathon.

Well, I'm glad I raced it. More than the fact that I won, I was most pleased with how it went. Like most of the half marathons around here, this one had its share of hilly terrain to deal with.

The first four miles are quite hilly. In hindsight, I was probably too conservative and should have stuck closer to my goal pace of 5:20s. I led from the gun. One guy hung with me for the first mile and as soon as the first hill came I began to gap him pretty good. My goal in entering the race was to win and stay healthy doing it so I was glad to already be putting some distance from my nearest competitor. However, I would run the rest of the race alone which is always hard when trying to push for a time. A few things helped though. First, since I was the leader, I had the lead cyclist in front of me the whole way. He was awesome. The half starts 30 minutes after the full marathon so by mile four, I was starting to catch up to the slowest of the marathoners. By mile 6, I was passing them in droves. The cyclist was awesome in clearing the slower marathoners out of the "inside lane" so I could have thge shortest distance to travel around the turns. I almost collided with one guy who apparently had his ipod turned up so loud he couldn't hear the cyclist or his loud whistle. No wonder the USATF has banned them. But I never see it enforced. Oh well. At about mile 4.5 it flattens out as you run along the Puget Sound all the way to the turnaround at Mile 8.8 back to Mile 11.5. There were actually two inclines in each direction that caused me to have to buckle down and not lose focus on maintaining my pace. They were those sinple yet challening overpass type things that crossed some railroad track. I hit them twice on the way out and twice coming back.

The great thing about an out and back is that you get to see what is coming. The bad thing about an out and back is that you get to see what is coming. From about Mile 3.5 to 4.5, it's there some solid downhill stretches. I really tried to throw down the hammer there because I knew that coming back up them would be brutal.

I actually felt increasingly better as the race went on. I'm the type that tries to compartmentalize a race into segments...telling myself "OK...just keep this pace up for two more miles and then if you have to give a little back, that's OK." It seems to usually work. Anyway, I kept telling myself that every two miles and it seemed to get easier as I went.

The turnaround was a welcome sight because now I got to run the next three miles re-passing the marathoners and many of the half marathoners who were on their way to the turnaround. I also got to see where my competition was. The next guy was several minutes behind so I knew that I was home free barring some disaster. The other runners were awesome and cheered me on loudly. It helped make up for not having any competition to help pull me through those tough latter third miles.

But the hardest part was yet to come. From about mile 11.75 to 12.5 was just brutal. It's a steady and fairly steep climb back up from the water to the city and it comes at a time in the race when there is little appetite for additional challenge. This is when I started looking at my watch -- for better or for worse -- a little more closely. Breaking 1:10 was on my wishlist but with my injury and some less than impressive workouts in the last couple of weeks, I wasn't so sure going in that 1:10 on this course in my shape would happen. But I also knew that at the Mile 11 mark, I was well on pace to do it. In fact, had the rest of the course been flat, I may well have flirted with going below 1:09.

So the 3/4 mile stretch to Mile 12.5 left my legs burning. I really wanted to attack it but there wasn't a lot of attack left in my legs. The rest of the course featured flat followed by quick, one-block steep uphills which I did OK on. The last .1 is a St. George style free fall which is always a bit scary especially since enough rain had fallen during the race to make the roads a bit slick. I noticed that most when trying to scale the uphills.

My biggest beef with the course is that about one mile of it was on gravel trail...not exactly a fast surface. It seemed senseless because it was around a park that had surface streets surrounding it with no traffic on them. Oh well.

Anyway...a good, challenging run and result and time I was pleased with. Incidentally, I broke my 10k PR which was 33:03. I know that 33:03 is nothing to write home about but I've only run one 10k since I started running again three years ago so not much to compare it to. I should also add that I don't have a 5k PR because I have never run one. Hopefully that will change this summer. 

My splits are below. I should also say that my Garmin read  13.10 at the end of the race and never was any mile marker more than .01 different than my watch. The race director is also a USATF course certifier. It was the most accurate course in terms of mile marker placement I have ever run.

Mile

Time

Overall

1

5:29

5:29

2

5:30

10:59

3

5:32

16:28

5k

 

17:00

4

5:15

21:43

5

5:02

26:45

6

5:11

31:56

10k

 

33:02

7

5:19

37:15

8

5:14

42:29

9

5:15

47:44

10

5:18

53:02

11

5:17

58:19

12

5:25

1:03:44

13

5:34

1:09:17

13.1

:29.5

1:09:47

Weight: 0.00
Comments(7)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

Ran one mile each way to the gym this morning to get in some lifting and exercises. Then ran 12 this afternoon at lunch. Everyone feels fantastic. Nothing particularly sore or fatigued from Saturday's race.

Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.000.000.0011.00

Easy 11 in a very light drizzle. Warm though.

Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

12 miles then a challenging routine at the gym with weights and strength exercises. Feeling it in the calves. It was warm but rainy this morning. We're supposed to hit 90 on Friday and Saturday which is very hot for here. Crazy spring.

Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

10 easy miles through the neighborhood this morning under gorgeous clear skies. Mid 80s all weekend.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.000.000.0011.00

10 outside under beautiful skies. It's mornings like this that make the yucky winters all worth it. Ran 1 mile on the treadmill at the gym before doing a few weights.

Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.200.005.000.0017.20

Three mile warmup followed by 2x2.5 miles @5:10 pace with an 800m float between the two reps. Followed by about nine miles at 6:40 pace.

Wound up hitting 5:01 (oops), 5:07 2:32 on the first rep. Then a bit closer to pace on the second one at 5:08, 5:08 and 2:33. Even at 8am it was already getting hot and the track I ran on happened to be black. Ugh. It was 74 degrees when i finished and my face had salt all over. I still really suck at hydrating. But at least I got the run in early. As of 2:45pm it is 93 degrees. This is an average summer day in Utah but scortching for us in Western Washington. The biggest problem is that very few homes have air conditioning so there is little relief. But, it beats the snow we had three weeks ago. Two weeks until Newport.

Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

Back in NYC this week. Took the red eye from Seattle. I went for a run through Central Park waiting for my room to be ready. I was surprised how good I felt given how little sleep I got on the flight. I came back to the gym and did some weights and exercises. It's the beginning of my taper which I always dread. I'm still not sure I think a taper is the best approach. I'm compromising this time by making it a two-week taper rather than a three-weeker.

Weight: 0.00
Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.250.006.000.0014.25

The long trip to NYC finally caught up with me this morning. I woke up at 5:15 in order to get my workout in before my meetings here began. The planned workout was a 6-mile warmup followed by 3x2 miles at 10:10 with 1/2 rest between each.

I knew I was in trouble when none of my warmup miles were faster than 7:10 pace. You could practically see the lead in my legs. So as you can imagine, I was dreading running 5:05s after the warmup, especially in the hilly Central Park. My six mile warmup put me at the Onassis Reservoir where there is a 1.5 mile "track" that circles the reservoir. It's gravel, but pretty hard packed and more importantly, flat. The first rep went fine (10:08) but I was wondering how I was going to get two more in. After the 1/2 mile rest, I committed to do one more. I did...in 10:15. A bit slow but I got it in. Then as I was doing the 1/2 mile rest, Paul got into my head. I hate it when he does that. The old "leave it on the track" phrase wouldn't leave my mind. So I did a third but this time on the hilly backstretch of Central Park. First mile was in 5:06 so pretty much on pace. Last mile...not so much. Finished the 2-mile segment in 10:25. I don't get too worked up about missing times. Times are somewhat arbitrary anyway, but even more, I gave 100% effort and I came out uninjured. That's good enough for me.

Probably 8-10 tomorrow before taking a day off on Thursday.

Weight: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.500.000.000.008.50

Easy 8.5 through Central Park. As much as i dislike NY, I love running in Central Park. I had a chance yesterday to go back to the starting line at Rockefeller Center and it sent chills down my spine. It's a memory that time will never erase.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.750.000.000.009.75

Back in Seattle after a long flight late last night. Good to be back but I'm tired. Fortunately I have a week to rest up for the marathon. Ran almost 10 this morning in cool and damp weather. Everything seems to feel okay.

Weight: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.305.001.000.0015.30

Five mile warmup down to the Mt Si High School track and then a marathon pacing workout. 5 miles at 5:25 then one mile at 5:10.

Hit 5:24 on the dot for Mile 1, lost concentration on Mile 2 and dropped to 5:26. Mile 3 was 5:22 and then 4 and 5 were both at 5:23. The last mile I did in 5:08.

I wish I had started earlier in the morning. By 11am it was already well into the 70s on a gorgeous day. I practiced my water drinking skills as well taking water every two miles. That is always my biggest challenge in a marathon and will be a key to my race on Saturday.

It was cloudy and 52 today in Newport. Oh how I hope for such perfect running weather next Saturday.

Weight: 0.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

12 easy miles. Longest run left before the marathon on Saturday.

Weight: 0.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.004.001.000.009.00

Last speed workout before Newport. 2 mile warmup followed by 4 miles at marathon pace then 1 mile hard. Came in at 5:30, 5:30, 5:29, 5:28 and 5:07. 5:30s are my target. 5:35s are what I need for the course record. 6 easy tomorrow before taking Thursday off.

 

70 ST2 Racer

253 Trance 7

257 Adrenalines

 

Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.006.00

6 easy miles along Lake Samammish. Rest day and travel day tomorrow.

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Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.250.000.000.005.25

Ran 5.25 miles on the course today. Pretty flat as advertised although the last mile is gentle but entirely uphill. The last .2 is an SGM-style free fall to the finish line. I'm sure my legs will love that tomorrow morning. I feel great. The cloud cover will be thick in the morning and temps in the high 40s. That is simply perfect. The only weather wildcard will be the wind. It's a fairly exposed course. I'm going to drive the course later today.

Weight: 0.00
Comments(3)
Race: Newport Marathon (26.2 Miles) 02:22:47, Place overall: 1, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.0026.200.000.0026.20

Marathons are a funny thing.

I woke up this morning after getting a pretty decent night's sleep, a bit nervous...for the first time. I've never gone into a marathon with the expectation of winning. On paper, I was the favorite, but as everyone on this blog knows, a lot can happen over 26.2 miles. So I was a bit nervous.

Race Weather: 47 degrees, heavy overcast, no wind. PERFECT.

I met JohnR at the starting line. It's always awesome to meet people from the blog. He had a great race and a huge PR. He has great potential. Can't wait to read his race report.

My reason for running this marathon was to win. Period. I picked this one because it is flat and fast and because the course record was a respectable 2:26 so I wasn't picking a backwoods marathon that could be won in anything under three hours.

My second goal was to break the course record. My third goal was to go sub 2:24. Why? Well, I have this problem. My SGM PR is 2:18:57. My non-SGM PR is 2:29. That disparity has bothered me a lot and has made me wonder how fast I really am. So even more than the victory, I was anxious to get this dual-PR monkey off my back.

Mission accomplished on all fronts. I finished in 2:22:47, winning the race by almost 20 minutes and shattering the course record. More importantly, I ran a very solid time, narrowed the huge gap between SGM and my "other" PR and did so doing it completely alone wire to wire. Going into the race, I would have said that winning would bring the greatest joy from this race. I would have been wrong. Don't get me wrong. Winning my first marathon is huge and a longstanding goal that has now been accomplished. But running a near-OTQ qualifying (old standard) race all by myself was an enormous boost in confidence that may carry me much farther than the victory itself.

I've thought a but about what made this race so much better than my previous PR in Eugene in 2007 especially since Eugene was not any more challenging than Newport and because I had a group of guys to run with the whole race there.

Two early observations: (1) Hydration. For those who have read any of my previous marathon race reports, you know that getting enough fluid in my body has been an enormous challenge for me at the marathon distance. I finally figured it out. The line between too little water and too much is very, very fine. I promised myself this race that if I went down in flames it was going to be because I drank too much fluid not because I drank too little. Today, I was able to manage that very tricky balance perfectly. I had a few stomach cramps and aches along the way, but nothing that slowed me down. Interestingly, the only fluid I took was water with NUUN tablets in it and just plain water. None of that HEED crap. I also took one GU at 17 which was perfect. So no sport drinks, only one GU (100 calories) seemed to do the tricks. I estimate I had 60 or so ounces of fluid during the race. That is a PR by more than double. Sad I know. (2) Strength exercises. I felt fantastic during the whole race. When I crossed the finish line, I didn't really feel all that tired. I kept waiting for the proverbial wall but it never happened. From Mile 18 on I just took it two miles at a time and it worked well. The strength exercises really conditioned me in a way that I have never experienced before. I suspect my post-race recovery will be easier as well. I have more work to do here but my legs have never felt better during a race.

The race course is stunning. It's beautiful and except for a few rollers in miles 1-5 and again on Mile 25, it's as flat as can be. SGM is a beautiful course in it's own right, but this is stunning. I should also mention that the race logistics were second to none. Given the new time standards and the elimination of SGM and other aided courses, Newport is a very good candidate for those wanting to try to qualify for the Trials in 2011. All it would take is a pack of 5-10 runners to push each other along.

Miles 1-4 run through a state park with a cool lighthouse and then winds through the neighborhoods of Newport before dropping down to sea level and running through the fishing district. At 4.5, there is a steep uphill that lasts for about .15-.2 miles. I took it pretty conservatively. At the crest you begin a gentle downhill back to sea level  to Mile 5. From there all the way to Mile 25, it is as flat as can be.

At the halfway point I felt great crossing in 1:11:15, 45 seconds faster than planned. The turnaround at 15.2 was a welcome sight. I have come to love out and back courses. The runners are always so awesome to cheer those heading back to the finish. It's also nice to know what you have ahead of you.

At Mile 17, all was well but in the back of my mind I was worried about Mile 20 which has been the usual point of my demise. To help me get around that, at Mile 19 I did the "just get yourself to Mile 21 and you will be fine." It worked. I don't even remember Mile 20. At 21 I was well under course record pace and mentally pushed myself to work hard to Mile 23. At 25, I was still running at a solid pace and feeling great. Mile 26 was a gentle uphill and slowed me down a bit. Mile 26 would have greatly benefited from having someone to run with. Breaking 2:23 was the only remaining time goal to shoot for so I wasn't exactly killing myself up the hill. Right at the 26-mile mark you have a steep downhill which my legs did not appreciate.

What a day. It's not very often you run 26 miles and accomplish even the loftiest of goals you set for yourself.

Mile

Split

Cumulative

1

5:18

5:18

2

5:40

10:58

3

5:07

16:05

4

5:24

21:29

5

5:30

26:59

6

5:33

32:32

7

5:26

37:58

8

5:21

43:19

9

5:29

48:48

10

5:25

54:13

11

5:29

59:42

12

5:31

1:05:13

13

5:37

1:10:50

13.1

:25

1:11:15

14

5:25

1:16:14

15

5:17

1:21:31

16

5:21

1:26:52

17

5:12

1:32:04

18

5:29

1:37:33

19

5:26

1:42:59

20

5:33

1:48:32

21

5:29

1:54:01

22

5:26

1:59:27

23

5:34

2:05:01

24

5:32

2:10:33

25

5:29

2:16:02

26

5:43

2:21:45

26.2

1:02

2:22:47

Weight: 0.00
Comments(22)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
240.0545.2026.102.00313.35
Weight: 0.00
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