26.2 miles easy to steady.
Time: 2:54:20 (6:39/mile pace).
Jacob Phillips, November 2015.
I’ve been blessed with a lot of great coaches and mentors in my life. During the time of this ‘workout’ I was being coached by Barry Magee, the 1960 bronze medalist in the Olympic Marathon. It was during these days that I knew my competitive running career was soon to be over and my ‘last’ show at the Olympic Trials Marathon was to qualify at the 2016 Houston Marathon.
In my build up Barry was assigning longer and longer runs as we were preparing for the marathon distance and I had a blast doing this training and was getting super strong. Then came the email with the assignment…3 hours. I had never run for 3 hours before; but I knew with how strong I was running and how easy the training was coming that I would easily get in a marathon during that time.
We had traveled from the NCAA XC Championships the day/night before and so I opted to sleep in, have a light breakfast, and then run. The weather was PERFECT and so waiting until mid-day was not a problem. However, I was not looking forward to driving to my usual long run training spot, White Rock Lake, so I decided to run the ‘marathon’ in my neighborhood.
So, on a loop that was no longer than 1.5 miles I started off on the first and last annual Capella Park Marathon. Thankfully, my beautiful bride (Rachel) rode along with me for the first 10-miles. After she was done I was left to my own demise. I just continued on, looping the neighborhood numerous times without seeing anyone.
When I got to about 3 miles to go I knew that I was going to be able to finish strong and dropped those miles all in the 5:50-5:55/mile range.
All in all, it was nothing spectacular, but it was my last true training run. A few weeks later I paced Kelsey Bruce to her Olympic Trials qualifying half marathon in 73 minutes and change in Phoenix. That was supposed to be run as a steady run for me, which would help her qualify for the trials. Unfortunately, my leg stopped working shortly after this and I ended my competitive running career.