Wow, crazy week. Us Southerners don't like the snow or cold rain, so I had a ton of rearranging this week. Originally I was going to do: An 11 mile moderate progression on Wednesday, 10-12 miles of 1/2 mile on/off at 5:05 total average on Friday and then 20 miles and a 4 mile night jog on Sunday. Well, we were supposed to get some freezing ran and icy roads on Friday, so I moved Friday's session to Thursday, scratched the progression and was going to keep run a 20 mile long run but with the last 5 miles at MP on Sunday, with a short night jog.
But then it was supposed to be 40 and pouring all day Thursday. Wednesday afternoon, it was 75 and sunny, so I moved Thursday's 1/2 mile on/off session to that afternoon, about an hour before I ran it. But we had 16mph winds and since that would destroy my pacing, I changed it to my 10 mile hill gut check fartlek I occasionally do. It's a continuously hilly route, and I run 3:00 a little faster than HMP and then 3:00 at a moderate effort. It's a good substitute for the workout I had planned but at a slightly more intense effort. With that session giving me three big stresses in seven days, I was going to jog easily the next three days and stick with my plan of a fast-finish long run and easy jog on Sunday.
But oh, it changed again. Sunday was supposed to be a continuous cold rain, so I moved the fast finish to Saturday. Yeah, it was a lot of stressful sessions close together, but it beats running in the rain. So that's what I stuck with. Now do you understand why I can't have a coach?
Monday: 9 miles (6:35); 7 miles (6:54)
Tuesday: 8.8 miles (6:47); 8.2miles with 6xhill blasts (7:14)
Wednesday: 5.7 miles (6:38); 15.2 miles with 10 mile hill fartlek. Ran five miles on my Newton Hills before turning around. After tracing the route, it said there was almost 2000 ft. of elevation change. I'd say on over 95% of the route, you're either going up or down. But the plan was 3:00 on/off. On was starting off around HM effort and working down to 10k effort. Off was a steady jog. There were 16mph winds, which was in my face most of the way out. I felt really flat for a while and kept on debating stopping the workout but I wanted to at least give myself a chance to have the tailwind. And then I reminded myself that if I'm trying to run one of the fastest marathons in the country, I can't be one of the first people to quit when things aren't going as planned. Felt better towards the middle of the workout and was recovering really quickly on the jogs. Ended up at 5:11 pace (4:51 fast part/5:22 slow part) for the ten miles, which was a nice confidence booster, especially since I've been training really hard lately and have a lot of cumulative fatigue building up. I ran this workout over 80s slower in the spring, when I was probably in 64:low HM shape and the weather was 25 degrees cooler without much wind. And when I ran it then, I hammered myself really hard while I felt much stronger this time. 126.5 miles in the last seven days, which is a new lifetime PR
Thursday: 8.6 miles (7:00); 7.3 miles (7:25)
Friday: 4.5 miles (7:30ish); 7.9 miles (7:08)
Saturday: 20 miles with 6 miles fast finish (5:45). Connor Kamm came down from the big city to run this with me. The plan was 13.3 miles at low 6:00s and then up to 6 miles at 5:05. Why 13.3? Because if we made all six of the fast miles, we would be at the bottom of Saundersville, with the next .6 miles until my 'hood a gradual uphill and who wants that? Ran 6:03 pace for the "slow" part and then pushed. After finding my rhythm in the first mile or so, the effort was really smooth. I debated pushing the last 1.77 miles (distance of the final road) at sub 4:50 pace but didn't want to get too greedy and just hung on. Connor was getting a little bit worn out the last mile, so I told him to tuck in so I could break the wind and I guess all the Houston Marathon visualizing got to me because I ran the last half mile at sub 4:45 pace and put about 10-15s on him. Ended up at 29:42 for the six miles with balanced splits of 5:01, 5:00, 4:52 (short downhill), 4:59, 4:58, 4:52). I felt really good at the end and felt like I could have run that pace for several more miles. I also realized thatt Connor was going to qualify for the Trials before I was (he's running the half at Houston). What a jerk; 3.4 miles (7:19). 127.4 miles in the last seven days, which is a new lifetime PR.
Sunday: 10.2 miles (7:00); 6 miles (7:23)
Week Total=121.8 miles. Another great week in the books and six weeks until Houston. I'm really starting to come around and with a couple more marathon-specific workouts, I'll be really fit. I'm running the Rocket City Marathon this weekend for a moderate long run. I'll cap the speed at 5:25 a mile but obviously slower is better. This will be my third marathon in 12 weeks, which is a little aggressive, but when I keep them as controlled efforts, I recover pretty quickly. For developed, high-mileage marathoners, I feel that really long runs at 90-95% of MP are a great and underused training stimulus. I'll take three easy days before the marathon, three easy days afterward and treat it like a marathon race, fueling-wise. But the main goal this week will be to avoid sickness. Mary is getting over some bronchitis thing, Kate has had an off-and-on fever for the past week and is super congested and Ellis has a bad cold and some gunk in his chest. Now Mary's grandparents, who watch her until daycare starts, both have the crud. Hopefully I'm not next on the hit list.