Last week, all in one lovely little 7-day time period, I had one of the best and one of the worst runs I’ve had all season. Here’s how it went down…
Sunday (3/13) :: 22 miles w/8 at MP. I won’t lie; I was scared silly of this run. I missed our first 22-miler because I was in Austin (though I did get in a run there, it wasn’t as long as it should have been). Now, I was combining my longest training run this season with 8 miles at my goal race pace (MP). It was hot and humid, so I promised myself that I would just play it by ear, listen to my body, and do the best I could that day. I don’t know whether it’s because I set my expectations so low, because I gave in and just let the run be whatever it would be, or because my training is really working (I’m hoping for the latter). What I do know that is that I felt great! I had a good 12-mile warm-up, ran a strong and steady 8 miles at my goal MP, and even had a decent 2-mile cool down. My MP miles averaged out to a 7:55 min/mile pace. If I maintained that in Boston on April 18th (eek!), I would finish in under 3:30 — my next big personal best goal, which I missed by 3 minutes in St. George. Holy cow!!
I still have no idea what my plan will be on race day (I’m having trouble letting go of the dream of running it with Brad), but it’s great to know that I’m fitter than ever. Or am I …
Monday (3/14) :: Rest day. Ahhhhhhh. My legs needed this. Unfortunately, after Sunday’s run, I noticed that my left tibialis anterior (i.e., the muscle that lies at the front of your shin and attaches to your foot) was not a happy camper. I crossed my fingers and hoped for a good run Tuesday morning.
Tuesday (3/15) :: 10 miles w/5 hill repeats. I love hills. I love the challenge of running up and the reward of running down. But, these hill repeats kicked my butt. The sad thing is that in talking with Coach about my pace and heart rate, I actually didn’t run them hard enough. I should have been in the top of Zone 4 or bottom of Zone 5, and I barely crept over my max Zone 3 heart rate. How is that possible?!? For better or for worse, I have sneaky suspicion I’ll have another chance. Coach is a masochist, and we love him for it.
Wednesday (3/16) :: More rest. This should have been a 7-mile recovery run, but I didn’t sleep a wink (Our neighbors went out of town for Spring Break and decided that leaving their good tempered, but needy, dog locked in their garage was a good idea. Wrong on so many levels.) and I noticed that my left leg was getting worse. I hoped that an extra day of rest would leave me in a good shape for an intense track workout on Thursday.
Thursday (3/17) :: 9 miles w/3 1.5 mile repeats in Zone 4. I dislike track workouts almost as much as I love hills. My fast twitch muscles just don’t work. I know this is exactly why I need track workouts, but it doesn’t mean I have like them! Still, I would have given anything to do those 1.5-mile repeats as opposed to limping along the sidelines trying to find a way to stretch out my left shin. Bad. News. Bears. I ran a total of 7.5 miles, with a few strides on the track, but even my stride pace was pitiful. Time for a desperate plea to my sweet husband for a much-needed massage. Lucky for me, he happily obliged – even if only to shut me up. Thanks, Brad! 🙂
Friday (3/18) :: 4 miles recovery. The massage seemed to help, but I wanted to do an easy shake-out run to see how things were feeling. My pace was very slow at the start, but I eventually warmed up and started to feel good – right when it was time to stop, of course.
Saturday (3/19) :: Lots of walking and house work. We’ve been a little distracted with things around the house lately, so I figured my extra run on Friday combined with walking to breakfast and lots of work around the house was a fair substitute for my scheduled 8-mile run. I went to bed super-early, and hoped I would wake up feeling ready for another 17-mile run with 7 at MP.
This coming week, we have a mini-taper with about a 30% reduction in overall mileage and just one quality run instead of two. Perfect timing for me to get some extra A.R.T. and a massage (or two). I, for one, am looking forward to it!
~your busy little B