Headed back to the Parklands to try to set an out & back FKT. I’m on the end of a pretty serious training block and my big race is in a few weeks so the goal was to keep the effort fairly light. I wanted to make it an easy 39 miles... or at least as easy as possible. Planned on walking the hills and not caring about pace. The north side is at a higher elevation so I decided to start/ finish at the south end so that the back half would be easier.
I used a hydration vest with a 2L bladder (drank about 1L) of sports drink. I packed way too much food, I only ended up eating about 700 calories. It was a nice day so I didn’t need any extra gear.
I felt pretty good from the start and just kind of jogged along. I was running up more of the hills than I had planned but they were really gradual going that direction so walking seemed weird. The effort stayed light so I didn’t mind. It’s always a little nerve wracking early on because there’s so much left but besides that it was great. I really enjoyed just cruising along and enjoying the scenery more than normal.
Somewhere around 7ish I saw a guy in the creek with 5 giant dogs around them and they were all (including the guy) wearing orange vests. I thought it was a little early to be hallucinating but when I looked back (twice) they were all still there.
Around 13 I started feeling like I was making progress, “only a marathon to go!” I still felt good and kept bopping along. It started to lightly rain around 18 and continued the rest of the run. It was never hard so it didn’t have much effect, my feet didn’t feel wet at all until like 32.
I hit the turnaround at 19.5 (19.3 on my watch) at 2:41. I had kind of been thinking it already but I decided that a negative split would be a good idea. You know because I wasn’t paying attention to pace.
I decided I wanted to negative split and then proceeded to run some relatively slow miles through the marathon, “woohoo, an ultra”. This section was flat so I picked it up a bit to try to get back towards the negative split. I was still taking it easy and a bit nervous because I was only 2/3s of the way through.
With 5ish miles to go I still felt good so I let myself go and ran quicker the last few miles. I finished in 5:18:19 about a 4 minute negative split.
There’s definitely lots of room for improvement on this time. It’s all paved and not too hilly, with long flat sections. I hope someone takes this to give me some additional motivation to come back.