Well, with a visitor in town over the long weekend, we kinda ate a bunch of junk food, but I ran faster and managed to maintain just under 150 pounds, which is my goal for race day. The move is almost done, I have one more long run before the race, and I'm excited to hopefully just cruise on toward race day!
On we march. I skipped a rest day this week, but I'll make up for that over the weekend. I made sure I kept my long run to the scheduled 12 miles, though. Best run of the week was four miles that felt like a light jog but came in under 38 minutes, which is about 75 seconds faster than race pace.
We're also in the process of moving, so my resistance training this week has been lifting boxes instead of weights. Things feel a little different, but we're doing all right, apparently.
With the prescribed 20-week training schedule, I would have a taper week this week and then it would be race day, but I started early enough that I'll get a couple of 13-mile runs in and get comfortable at race distance, and then a taper week.
Well, this was an odd week...I wound up having to buy new sneakers, which is awful five weeks ahead of a race, but they're nearly the same as the ones that my toes finally poked through. It was really humid early in the week, and my 6-mile run really was terrible (I actually stopped after 2.5 miles and had a little heart-to-heart with myself and went out and ran another 3.5).
Then Saturday came. I got out early to try to beat the majority of the rain, and I planned what was supposed to be a 12-mile route really poorly. At 10.5 miles, I realized I either had to start running around the block, or just extend it, so I went ahead and extended my route, finishing at 13.2 miles — just a smidge past race distance, and I finished in 2:18:41, almost exactly at my predicted race pace, which was to be 2:20. So, we'll get a couple more in, but I'm comfortable at the distance (I still managed to do some laundry and work a full day afterward). Yay!
Well, last week I thought I'd jumped in speed, and while my shorter runs this week were slower than last week, my long run was 31 seconds a mile faster than last week. I'd been finding my long runs dropping by a few seconds a mile every week, but this was a big jump, and I actually wound up averaging about 5 seconds faster on the week than I did last week.
This was my final scheduled recovery run. My mileage will fall off by a couple of miles for the rest of the training, and my rest will increase. I will have a week that I'll be moving my training up a day, so I may get a short 1- to 2-mile run in so as not to rest three days, but if I do a lot of walking (likely), I might just skip it.
We're 6 weeks out from the race, and I'm getting excited for it, starting to plan the month leading up and the day. I'm thinking, as I write this, that I should change my long run routine a little bit, so that it mimics race day a bit. Right now, I get up, get dressed, pack a bag, drink some water and coffee and take a pre-workout, drive about a half hour and get out of the car running. Race day will be more like a 5- or 10-minute drive, but I need to be parked 90 minutes before race start.
Something got into my legs this week. I was on the road 24 minutes and change less than last week, while my distance was only down 0.14 miles. And that's while missing a day off.
I did eat a lot more carbs this week than normal. I've started having a peanut butter and banana sandwich (or two!), and I'm eating more rice. I wonder if that had something to do with speed and stamina.
This was the first week that when I finished my long run, I had some muscle cramping. It was the first time I crossed the 11-mile mark, and the first time I crossed the 2-hour mark, and maybe I have to remember to cool down and stretch a little more than I usually do. Normally I just have a Gatorade and get on my way.
Anyway, 11 miles, and I feel like if you told me I had a week, I'd be able to push out another couple of miles. Onward!
No video this week. We'll get back to them next week, though!
Happy Monday, friends!
Great week. Now that I've acknowledged my 5-6 miles problem, I made some mental preparations to deal with it. And then I changed my route for my 10-miler at the end of the week and it went really well. I don't know when the last time I ran a sub-9-minute mile, but my recovery run was much faster than normal.
My schedule changes the next few weeks to accommodate work and the holidays, but I'm going to aim to keep a rest day before my long run. It means I lose a rest day this week but gain one back in two weeks.
Well, two things have come to my attention this week. One is that I enjoy three-to-four miles and long runs and I really don't like those middle distances — in that 5- and 6-mile range. I think that's even where i started to have to get past it on my 10-miler this week.
The other is that I need to give myself a little more credit. Looking back over the week, I ran a full three miles farther this week than last, and only took five more minutes to do it in.
So, I guess the countdown's really on. Nine weeks until race day. Onward!
Back running in Savannah, it's tough getting used to the humidity again, but it stayed somewhat cool out. I got back on schedule with my mileage, but I mixed the locations up so that we're not in danger of getting bored. Wednesday's six-miler was at the beach, which was nice, since I got to go for a swim afterward to cool off, but on the other hand, the sand (and possibly running in a combination of minimal sneakers and barefoot) changed my form so that my quads were sore for a couple of days. Actually, that's probably not a bad thing.
I also went out to the McQueen's Island trail for my long run of the week, but found half of it closed for repairs, so I ran 9 miles on a 3-mile trail. The last couple of miles there was actually the first time I had to run in the rain in all this training. I'm sure I'll get plenty of that this week with the remnants of storm Erika coming through. Also, this week, we start four weeks of peak distances – 28 miles per week.
Well, Week 11 was kinda crappy to start. On Wednesday, I was scheduled for five miles and gave up after 4.3. On Thursday, I was scheduled for four, but ran three — though I did average under 10 minutes per mile for those three. After 16 hours in the car Friday, though, I did eight strong miles in Central New York.
Week 12, I was lucky enough to do five runs in four different cities, and I shuffled the days and mileage. I was scheduled for four miles Tuesday, six Wednesday, four Thursday, nine Saturday and a recovery run Sunday. Instead, I ran four Monday in Western Massachusetts, nine Wednesday in Central New York, six Friday in Charleston and four Saturday back in Savannah, with my recovery run also in Savannah.
Most impressive in all that, apart from running on vacation food and lots of travel, is that I ran nearly two full miles longer than I did in Week 10, adding only two minutes to my time. I'm sure the pace will slack this coming week, putting me on the road longer, since I'll be running in 80-plus degree weather with 90-plus percent humidity instead of the 65-degree temperatures and 30 percent humidity I ran in up north. But onward we go.
Normally the first time I do a distance it's a struggle, I'm unsure about how it's going to go. I wind up slugging through with my pacing all over the place and hopefully not feeling awful. This week was different. Eight miles for the first time went smoothly (if slowly), with the fastest and slowest miles being 52 seconds apart (compare that to last week, when the difference between my fastest and slowest miles over a seven-mile run was about 3:20). I'm excited to be traveling next week. I'm not sure what my time Internet access will be like, so if there's not a Week 11, all the numbers will come in the Week 12 diary.