Sunday, August 17, 2008

Training - An Update

My goals for this past week were to slow it down a little and keep the mileage a little lower as this is a step back week according to the marathon training plan I am using. The basic capstone of the week was a long run of 11 miles, which should have been gravy since the last three weeks have featured long runs of 13, 14, and 15 miles, respectively.

Sunday - Rest day - After running 15.3 miles Saturday the rest was welcome. I did actually get out and walk a couple of miles, though, but it is always good giving the body a chance to recover and rebuild. I was also impressed that on a very full weekend socially with rehearsal and pre wedding festivities Thursday, Wedding Friday, and Pool Party for the newlyweds Saturday, I still made time to get in my prescribed training. Definitely a good sign!

Monday - Another Rest Day - Alright, probably not exactly what I was hoping for, but life happened. Didn't run before work and then I was tempted with Pizza and family time after work, which screwed with my usual time table for training. Rest and recovery might be okay for the legs in the long run, pardon the pun!

Tuesday - 5.5m Tempo Run - What started as an innocent tempo run descended into an internal "I triple dog dare you to try to push for another mile". First mile, 7:47, not bad, good tempo pace for my current fitness, plus if things get hairy I can back off a little, right? Mile 2, 7:32, okay, this is like last summer's 5k pace, but I wonder if I push a little, can I sustain it? Mile 3, 7:08, AHHHHH, I said a little push, I don't feel too trashed, let see if I can hold it (I double dog dare you!)..... Mile 4, 7:06, okay, this is crazy, I now know I am faster than last year, but can I sustain this pace a little longer (I TRIPLE dog dare you!)? Again, back off anytime you feel too thrashed. MILE 5, 6:52, ............, not sure where all this came from? Smashed my PRs for 5k and 5 miles from last summer, but my feeling is that PRs are only good when you do them on race day. A big step up, though, and good to see I am more fit than I was last Thanksgiving where it hurt to run 7:52 pace for a 5 mile road race.

Wednesday - 8.1m Marathon Pacing Run - After yesterday's descent into insanity, I felt alright. The whole point of this run was to get in some sort of training around goal marathon pace. Again, faster feet prevailed and I ended up running most miles around 7:55 to 8:05 pace, when I should have been up closer to 8:30 to 8:40. Ugh.

Thursday - No run - Eldest son's birthday + not getting up to run early before work = no training in the PM, plus I killed a basket of chicken fingers and fries at Friendly's for dinner. Chipotle sauce will not be coming with me to any of my race day nutrition meetings! BAH!

Friday - 4 miles - Half day at work, then to the "company beach blowout" where the Ipswich Ale flowed and I swam for while (against the current) and tossed around the children. It was actually sort of impressive that I made it out to run when we got home. Stupidly, 4 miles in 32:23, which is a little fast for an easy run the day before a long run.

Saturday - 11.1 miles - Absolute crapulence. Last week I ran 15.3 and managed to run the last 5 with a couple accelerations, without having to stop over the 2 hours and 10 minutes it took. Over 1 hour and 39 minutes I basically participated in a death march. Nothing felt comfortable. I felt the soreness from the swimming and lifting of children. Plus, as cool as the temperature seemed for the duration of the run, the humidity seemed awfully high because I was pouring with sweat. I made it through all 32 ounces of fluid and had numerous walking breaks. Not so much a demoralizing run, as much as it was a frustrating and embarrassing run. I also noticed that it might partially be because I had run fairly soon after waking up and didn't necessarily have something solid in my stomach... taking note of such things.

Weekly Mileage - 28.7
August - 79.5m
Year to date: 651.5 miles

I think some of what transpired this week was based on a very good long run last weekend. I was able to run my 15 miler on a large portion of the course for the Run to the Rock Half-Marathon in Plymouth. In fact, many of the spray paint markings on the roads to signify the 5k splits and mile markers are still visible, so it was interesting and kept my mind off of over analysis of pace. One initiative for the run was to get the 15 miles prescribed in my marathon training, but I was also testing my body, and how the last 5 or 6 miles during the half marathon would feel on the actual terrain and in a similiar lactic acid situation. Additionally, I was gauging if there were any spots that might be accommodating for step backs or surges. The splits for my last 7 miles were 8:30, 8:04, 8:16, 8:30, 8:15, 8:06, and 8:13. Conditions were very good, and I was very smart with hydration and calorie intake on the run. I think this run, combined with my run Tuesday really got me thinking outside of my ultimate goal: finishing a marathon. Obviously, finishing a half-marathon in the 1:40's as opposed to the 1:50's would be a marker of improved fitness since starting to run again, but I think my focus slipped a little, and, as in past experience, when speed is something I try to improve on, at least at this point in my physical abilities, it usually results in a strain and nagging injury.

Next week should be more focused. The capstone this week will be the 16 mile run - no speed play here! A little under 3 weeks to the Run to the Rock Half! Hoping for continued health and good training. Can anyone believe Autumn is fast approaching? Traditionally my favorite time of the year because of XC season.... Certainly not the same as I am much slower than I was in college, and want to wait a season before perhaps running some higher level XC races, but Saturday Mornings with the Spikes and teammates were perhaps my best memories from college.

Happy Trails Everyone!

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