Sunday, March 29, 2015

Week 9

This is the last hard week before the taper starts! I can’t believe it is done! This was the longest week with 70 miles total. On Monday, I had a two a day run with 6 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. In my usual 5 am fashion, I couldn’t really get going and did 8:20 pace overall for the 6 miler. It was hot for the 4 miler but I pushed the pace since it was so short. I did it in 7:51. Tuesday was supposed to be 11 miles with 6x1k at 5k pace. It was hot and sunny and my legs were still feeling a little jelloish from the 5k. I ran 3 miles and then went for it. I couldn’t ever really get down to 5k pace but I figured the effort is all that really matters. On the 4th one, things started to unravel. Half way through the 5th one, I had to throw in the towel. I wasn’t even sure I could finish out the 11 miles but I did. The overall pace was 7:34 so the run was still pretty good. This was the first workout that I wasn’t able to complete in this entire training cycle. I was a little disappointed but not really. I was mainly worried about the 15 miler the next day. The weather was supposed to be up near 80 degrees and sunny for the run. I knew it was going to be tough. When I got to work, I realized that my afternoon was free and even my 11:00 had cancelled. I got out of there as soon as I was done with my 10:00. It was overcast and breezy and I wanted to take advantage of that. It was hard. For the first time in this training, my legs just felt sluggish. I kept telling myself that this was it, no more mid week 15 milers. I did it in 8:18. Honestly, I was just slogging through so I’m pretty happy with that pace. That afternoon, the clouds cleared and it did end up being very hot and sunny. I would have had a really hard time in the heat so I’m glad I was able to take advantage of cloud cover. It was storming Thursday morning so I just got on the treadmill, set the speed at an easy pace and plowed through it. I did the 6 miles at 8:35 pace. I took Friday off and hoped the rest would bring my legs back to me. I decided to run with a couple of other local girls that are going to Boston. They typically run a little slower than I do but they were running a route that was flat for 7, had a big uphill and downhill in the middle and then another flat 7 to the finish. It was the perfect route and they were going at 5:30 in the morning. The thought of getting it over with so early was really appealing. Any worry about pace was overshadowed by this. Also, I’ve done all these runs pretty fast so I didn’t mind taking it easy for this last one. When we met up, the other two agreed to go 8:45 to 9:00 pace and I wasn’t sure what to do. I can’t run at that pace even if I just took it completely easy. It was pitch black and I didn’t want to just take off so I went out at a comfortable pace and just tried not to push the pace too hard. I also decided that I could take off for the last 6 or so if I felt ok. We all agreed that we would split up if we needed to and there would be no hurt feelings. We ended up going more in the 8:15-8:30 range for the first 13 or 14 miles. At 15 we stopped for a bathroom break and the pace had come down below 8:00. They encouraged me to take off so I did. I ended up staying in the 7:30 range for the last 5 and it felt surprisingly good. I had a little bit to walk once I was done. I could see the other girls once I got to the parking lot so I waited for them. They had done the last miles fast too and were really excited to have had such a great training run. I was happy they were happy because I was a bit worried I had pushed the pace too hard and someone would bonk. My overall pace ended up at 8:08 and I was really happy with the run and even happier to be done with 20 milers! Mentally, it was the easiest one of all. I had company and a nice easy pace for 15 miles and only had to really crack down for the last 5 which wasn’t hard to do. To finish the week I ran 8 miles at 8:05 pace on Sunday. I haven’t done a 70 mile week since 2008 and this one felt unexpectedly good. I’m still super glad to have it behind me. Now I get to slowly back off until the race.

I taper gradually so this week will be easier but it won’t be insignificant at 59 total miles. The plan looks like this:

M-General Aerobic + Speed 6mi w/6 x 100m strides
T-VO2max 9mi w/5x600m@5k race pace
W-Med Long Run 11mi
R-Recovery 5mi
F-Rest
S-CCC 10k 11mi total
S-Long Run 17mi

I’m most excited about the 6 miles on Monday and only having to do 11 on Wednesday instead of 15. I’m most worried about the 10k. The distance intimidates me and I’ve never felt very confident while running it. I usually lose focus around mile 4 and then just drag it in. My PR is 41:44 which I should be able to beat but it is hard to say what my legs will feel like. Sometimes the legs can feel weird at this point in marathon training so we will have to wait and see.

My official packet from Boston arrived this week. My number is 16680. I’m in the first corral in wave 3 so I’ll start at 10:50am. When I did Boston in 2008, there were only 2 waves and I was pretty far back in the second one. I was probably 2 or more miles in before I didn’t feel absolutely claustrophobic. I couldn’t even see where my feet were coming down and it was unsettling. I’m really hoping that being in the first corral will help with this. Also, Boston is a seeded start so the people in my corral ran a similar qualifying time. My qualifying time was 3:30 so 8:00 pace which is a lot slower than my goal pace so I’m hoping that will also help with the crowds since I’ll go out quite a bit faster than that. Of course, lots of people will go out too fast and there will also be people like me that can run faster than their qualifying time so I know I won’t be all alone but I’m hoping to have some breathing room. I have to admit that I’m also pretty excited to get to line up right on the start line at Boston. That will feel amazing!

Books wise, I didn’t set the world on fire this week. I ran my 20 miler and the 8 miler with people so I didn’t listen to anything. I did manage to read Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand and it was ok. I’m currently reading The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan and I’m having a hard time sticking with it. I’ve got several things on hold at the library that I’m hoping will come available soon. 

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