Hello My Friends!
Week 13 was a huge week and I knew this week would be less mileage. I knew that. But… the runs on the plan actually seemed tougher this week. I looked in to that and that is by design: not as much mileage, but faster runs to keep your strength up while you finish the last bit of training. All of these runs now made more sense – and I worked hard to meet those goals, though, I must admit, I’m pretty tired. I did a fair job of meeting those goals and had a pretty good week, all things considered. Now, I’m heading toward taper… here’s how week 14 went:
- Sunday, 03/23/2014 – I decided I wanted to have a “restful” Sunday, at least, much more restful than recent Sundays. It was supposed to be a wash out, weather wise (it wasn’t), so the boys and I planned to just stay in and watch cartoons and play games. We cleaned the play room together (which isn’t as restful as one might think, trying to, um, encourage a 7 and 9 year old to ‘clean’), and then I gave them an assignment to clean certain parts of the room while I did the bathrooms and the laundry. Overall, though, I had much more of my time off my feet on this Sunday than most, so I am calling it a win.
- Monday, 03/24/2014 – I swapped my 6 mile easy run for the 9 mile tempo because I of scheduling. An out of town co-worker was going to be in Raleigh and we’ve tried runs several times before only for something to fall through (usually me), so I decided I was *going* to make it happen this time. I sucked it up and ran 9 on the treadmill after work – which I almost never do. I sooo was not in the mood for it. I hated every second and my legs felt like cement blocks the whole time. I toughed it out and watched “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” again (after watching “Capote” last week, so I had a slightly different perspective on the story this time), but I hated every second of this run. So many times I thought about quitting, but I kept it going and I hit the 8:30 overall pace target, so I’m happy with it now… just made me appreciate having a rest day the next day.
- Tuesday 03/25/2014 – non-run day, unfortunately. See… I had one of those “you’re not prepared for this” dreams, like you have when you’re in school; you get to the test and realize it is on Differential Equations when you studied for History… doh! Kind of like that. In my dream, I was at the start line and I was trying to get into my corral, but I couldn’t see the number on my bib (pinned on me already) to tell what corral I was in… while I was looking down, though, I just happened to notice that I had no shoes on. What? (I’ve been stressing about when to break in some new shoes… all broken in now!) So, I get out of the corral and walk around looking for my shoes. In the middle of the crowd, I see my dad and his 3 brothers and they tell me to look for my shoes in this one building. Ummmm… ok. So I go into the building to look for my shoes and there are these (adult size) bouncy houses with these giant tunnels and all kinds of “rock star” kind of themed stuff going on. I’m told by one of the volunteers that I need to go through this tunnel to get to the start… Ummmmm… ok. So I go into the tunnel (still no shoes on, by the way) and I, of course, get lost. Spinal Tap style lost (“rock and roll! woo hoo! haha) I finally emerge from the tunnel into this empty room where a volunteer informs me that the race already started and I’m 5 miles away with no bus or transportation to get me there. My thought? “I guess I’ll have to run to the start line – I mean… it is chipped timed… though, I didn’t train for 31 miles, I trained for 26!” haha. Funny how the brain works. I think I actually woke myself up swearing about that…
- Wednesday, 3/26/2014 – 6 miles with my out of town coworker – and I’m so happy I finally got a chance to run with him! I decided to do a modified version of the Rock and Roll route up to about mile 4 and then take him back downtown. He was staying at a hotel next to our office building, so it was easy for start and end. It was freezing, though – I guess that’s why we went a little fast at the start! haha. It was great to have a run buddy and I liked showing off part of my town to him, even though he’s been here several times. I gave him history of sections and explained how they all changed; We also talked about marathon preparation and stuff like that. He’s done a couple and, as always, gave me good advice for running the marathon. We also talked about races to do in his state! I now need to find one so I can give him enough time to train for it.
- Thursday, 3/27/2014 – Nutso insane schedule at work, so, thankfully, it was a rest day because I literally had hours where I was sitting at my desk for meetings.
- Friday, 03/28/2014 – I took the day off from work to burn some vacation time, and it was good timing to do so because I really don’t think I could have done as well on this run if I felt like I was “cramming it in” before work. I had the 3 x 2-mile intervals on my plan and I *really* did NOT want to do them on a treadmill. I knew it would be tough to do this outside – I’ve never done intervals outside before – but I really wanted to try it so I could get a feel for it, as I’m thinking more and more this will probably be my strategy – kind of Galloway-ish, but with all running. I’ve also been pretty curious about the western-most side of the route. There was really no easy way to do the actual route: a very large portion of it is without sidewalks and I thought to myself: should I go sidewalk-less with more traffic or with less traffic? Since I am a believer in statistics, I went the part that had less traffic and longer without sidewalks… a.k.a.: the old route. A few months ago, the Competitor team announced that they had to redraw the route. When I asked about it at a Competitor sponsored event, they said it was because of some businesses that needed to have clear traffic as they deal with medical issues (totally makes sense). Still, I was curious about what wasn’t going to be on the route. I started at the Art Museum and went up Reedy Creek to the turn around – which was my 2 mile warm up, but kept going straight and around until I got back to Trinity and the Hockey Arena. It is very pretty back there, especially on the southern side of it around the point where it turns onto Trinity. Lots of horse farms and stuff I never knew was back there and a mere mile away from the arena. I also saw the back entrance to SAS Institute, which I had no idea was over there. I went around the arena, but decided to go up Edward’s Mill to go back to the Museum because there are sidewalks (or, rather, a greenway path) there. As pretty as it is, though, it is really one giant hill and I went up and down the thing 3 times (in 3 different places) while trying to maintain a sub 8:20 pace. Not easy. I finally made it back to the Art Museum and I still had my 1 mile of cool down left to do, so I did some of the NC Art Museum trail, which, after the ATT, is probably now my 2nd favorite place to run in Raleigh. I finished with an overall pace of 8:25 for a 10 mile run and I was really, really happy with that.
- Saturday, 03/29/2014 – I prefer running in the morning, as early as possible, to get it all out of the way and get on with my day (hence: the title of this post series… I’m usually relaxing with a cup of java in hand after putting some miles behind me). Some days, however, Mother Nature likes to mess with me. Today is one of those days. We have been under an “elevated risk” of severe thunderstorms today, though, so far, thankfully, it has just been plain old rain. I got up around 7, had some coffee and watched the radar like a hawk until around 8:30 when I saw a huge gap in the middle and, regardless of whether I felt “ready” or not, I was going. I put on my run gear *and* my shoes and I got out the door. I had 10 on the plan, but other things I read was to lower by 20%. I did 57 miles last week, so I should have done just over 46 this week by using that formula (I did 40 this week). I wasn’t really sure I wanted to add quite that much to my run, so, on a friend’s advice, I settled on 14, 13 of which was going to be the half marathon route. I thought, at least this way, I can see the last four miles as I’ll see them on race day and I’ll have a better sense of what to expect. The first mile was WAY too damn fast. I’m not sure why I was so excited, but every time I looked down, I saw a sub-7 pace and, well, even though 14 is a lot less than 22, let’s not get cocky here, kiddo. You still have 13 to go, and you won’t make it at this pace. I did finally slow down, but then I went too slow? Then too fast. Then too slow. I couldn’t get the pace right to save my life today. Added to that was the obstacle course I was running on: full on mud and puddles bigger than what I could jump. Know how I know? That’s right: I tried it. Probably not my best solution to those particular problems. haha. I did, however, make it up the hills and didn’t question my sanity, so I’m calling it a pretty good run. The climb into Dix Hill is much steeper and higher than I thought and I’ve never run it in this direction before, so it was a new sight for me and I thought it to be pretty up there, too… then I had to run down it (not as fun as it sounds) and back up Boylan (which had me cursing at the RDs for this one… why couldn’t we just go down Cabarrus?) The worst part? Mentally, I was thinking “I’m almost done! I’m almost done!” by the time I got back to Morgan, and then I heard “Twelve point fifty miles…” on my audio cue and realized I still have one mile beyond the finish line to go for this run. I kept it going, but downtown was getting crowded and the almost empty intersections I enjoyed at the beginning of my run were now 3 cars deep in each lane and I had to stop a lot more. I finished it, though, and inside my target time, even if it was slower than I wanted. I kept thinking: this is teaching me how to run smarter on race day and I will not have done a fast 10-miler the day before”. I have to remind myself of that lately.
Week 15 tapers a bit more… and I’m starting to feel a lot better about the race. I know that, at this point, I’ve done well with my training and there is nothing more for me to do other than continue the trajectory, rest, hydrate and fuel properly, and looking forward to recovering well so I can work my way back up to this kind of mileage starting in about a month or so. For next week:
- 6+ miles
- 2 x 2.5 mile intervals – 1 mile warm up, 2 x 2.5 mile intervals at 8:30-8:40 pace and one 3:00 rest between the intervals; no cool down – should be close to 6.5 to 6.75 miles for me
- 5 miles easy
- 8 miles easy, though, I’ll likely do 10 easy
- Core Work – goal of at least 3 this week again – I’m keeping this goal on here until I *actually* get that number…
Hope you all have a great week!