It was a great week of training topped off with an 18 mile run in the rain and the purchase of a new pair of running shoes.
I woke up this morning to rain and thunder but a quick peak at the radar told me I could wait a while and the rain would get a little lighter. No problem--I had a coupon to Marathon Sports so I headed over there and got a new pair of running shoes. I tried on a bunch but I finally went with the Asics Speedstar 4. It's lightweight and it looks pretty sleek too so I'm looking forward to trying it out tomorrow.
After finding the perfect shoe I went on my last long run before the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon. The rain never got too bad and it even let up a couple of times although after a while I was too wet to really notice whether it was raining or not.
This 18 miler was supposed to be at MP + 20-30 seconds. I was feeling pretty good despite a week of pretty tough training so I decided to just go for 7:20 / mile. Apparently my goal pace is around 7:00 / mile. The rain didn't really bug me and it was a really nice run. I ran around the chain of lakes in Minneapolis and it wasn't as busy as it usually is on a Saturday morning. There were still plenty of people running but I didn't have to maneuver around people. You could tell all the runners out there were hardcore because it was raining. None of those "it's a beautiful spring morning so I'll throw on my Brooks Beasts, camelbak, and run around the lake shoulder-to-shoulder with my running partners and not even move when people try to go around me."
Around mile twelve some guy walking next to Lake Calhoun points to the water and says, "look at that." He must've been able to tell I'm a fisherman so naturally I paused the Garmin to take a look. There was a big old muskie swimming around in the shallows. I was all, "awesome," and he was all, "looks like he's looking for a snack." Then, back to six more miles of running.
At mile 16 I decided to push the pace a little and ran a little faster than 6:30 / mile for the last two miles. I finished the run at 7:04 / mile and not feeling too spent at all. I'm psyched for the marathon and looking forward to two weeks of taper time.