Sunday, March 22, 2015

Week 8 and a Race Recap

This week I got to scale back my mileage just a touch-63 total instead of the 66-68 I’ve been doing. Also, the tempo runs are done and the speed work had begun. Monday started out easy enough with 7 miles and some strides at 7:59 pace. Tuesday was a hot, windy day so I was a little worried about the 9 mile workout with 5x600 but it was fine. The wind, while challenging, did keep things cool and there was cloud cover for a lot of the run. I did the repeats at an average of 6:21 pace and the entire run was 7:32 pace. I felt like it was pretty successful! I was absolutely covered in salt afterward. Even my eyelids had salt on them. A cool front blew in and Wednesday had highs in the 50s and lots of rain. I ended up working half a day and was able to do my 15 miler before the worst of the rain hit. These 15 mile mid week runs are getting tougher and tougher. That’s just such a long run to do on a weeknight and coming after tempo runs or speed work the legs are always heavy. The first few miles were tough. Well, lets face it, all the miles were tough. I just put one foot in front of the other and got it done. The pace was 8:07 so I can’t be unhappy with it at all. I got up at 5 am on Thursday and did a 6 mile recovery run at 8:31 pace and then rested up on Friday to get ready for the Spring Fling 5k on Saturday.

I’ve done this race several times over the years. It’s not really one of my favorites but it is part of our Grand Prix Series so I end up doing it some years. It has rolling hills in the first two miles and then comes down a hill and ends on a track. Technically, it is a net downhill but it isn’t a very fast course really. I just missed breaking 20 minutes (I ran 20:00 exactly) at the Valentine’s Day 5k last month so I was hell bent on doing it now. Ideally, I wanted to go out in 6:25, do the second mile in 6:20 and then just go as fast as I could for mile 3. In my head, mile 3 was a plunging downhill but in reality, mile 3 has quite a bit of incline so my plan didn’t really happen. I started out pretty slow. My Garmin indicated 6:38 pace for the first quarter mile and I just hung out there while the crowd thinned. I used some down hill to pick it up and as I finished the first mile I was at 6:19 pace. I saw about 3 women not far in front of me and started locking down on them. I spent the first half of the second mile chasing them down and caught the last one around the 1.5 mile point. A girl that beats me all the time was about 10-15 seconds in front of me so I just tried to keep her in sight and slowly pull her in. I hit mile two at 6:12. The last mile was so tough. I knew that some downhill was coming but if felt like the incline would never end. My Garmin was showing 6:38 or so and frustrating the crap out of me so I pressed on and quit looking at it. Just before I plunged down the steep incline to the track, I took a look at I was at 6:25 pace. After that, I never looked again but I did end up with 6:25 for mile 3. The last tenth was sub 6:00 and my time was 19:42 which is exactly my PR. Interestingly enough, that is 6:21 pace which is what my intervals on Tuesday ended up averaging. This being a net downhill, it doesn’t count, but it is still exciting to be hovering around PR pace. It is especially exciting since that PR is pre kids and is over 6 years old. 

On Sunday I had an 18 miler. It was raining so I went out without my iPod which was too bad because I’ve been working on the 2nd Game of Thrones book for what feels like forever and I could have gotten through quite a bit of it. I took off with absolutely no course in mind and ended up doing a big hill around mile 4 and then a plunging downhill that got me to mile 5 and back to my house. The rain had stopped so I made a pit stop, grabbed my iPod and was able to finish the book while I ran. I felt pretty good considering I ran a fast race yesterday. I ended up doing the 18 miles in 7:59 pace, even with the big climb.


Still feeling good. Obviously no problems with sluggish legs as evidenced by the fast 5k. I started having some minor knee pain during the speed work on Tuesday. It just feels like runner’s knee type stuff. It was the worst on Thursday but felt fine by Saturday and I really didn’t feel it much at the race or during the long run. I’m definitely getting to that point in the training where the longer runs are a real mental struggle. Taking comfort in the fact that there aren’t many left has helped get me through them.


Next week’s plan:

M-Recovery 6mi am & 4mi pm
T-VO2max 11mi w/6x1000m@5k race pace
W-Med Long Run 15mi (LAST ONE!!!!)
R-Recovery 6mi
F-Rest
S-Long Run 20mi
S-General Aerobic 8mi

At 70 miles total, this is the highest mileage week, the peak of the training, the last 20 miler and the last week before the taper starts! I can’t believe I’m here already! Boston is less than one month away!

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