- The weather should be cool in South Carolina that time of year, especially with a 6:30am start time.
- The course is fast/flat.
- It's early enough in the season for me to also run a late spring marathon, in case I don't BQ.
- It's also early enough in the season for me to recover in time for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler.
- It's on the east coast, so I don't have to worry about changing time zones
- I'm pretty sure I will be able to meet The Tiny Terror, who has been following my blog for about three years now.
The only downside of running this marathon is having to run the bulk of my hard miles during the most logistically challenging time of the year: January-February. I don't mind cold weather, but when there is ice on the ground, I refuse to run, which means opting for a treadmill or running after work when the ice has melted and I can see better. Neither of these are attractive options, but I've been able to train through this nastiness in years past, so hopefully I can do it again. The only thing I can imagine I would have to sacrifice would be speed work if the ground is icy-- because speed work on a treadmill has historically resulted in injuries.
|Current streak vs. longest streak|
Week of December 5: 52.8 Miles
Once I finished my series of three 5Ks, my coach started to pile on the mileage. My key workouts this week were a steady state run and a fast-finish 90 minute run. My long run was 2 hours, which equated to 13.9 miles.
Week of December 12: 55.2 Miles
Another solid week on the books! On Tuesday, I ran a 90-minute progression run with the first 30 minutes at easy effort (8:54 pace) the middle 30 minutes at medium effort (7:48 pace), and the last 30 minutes hard (7:03 pace). I've done this workout several times in the past, but I've never done it as fast as this. My total distance was 11.45 miles at an average pace of 7:51. That's definitely a tough workout to complete before heading into the office!
On Thursday, I ran 7 hill sprints, lasting 75 seconds each, with the jog back down as recovery. Greg joined me for this one. It was only 22 degrees with sustained winds of 20-25mph! Thankfully, the hill we used was situated in the best possible direction: a tailwind on the way up, and a headwind on the
way back down. Honestly, the most challenging part of this run was the cool down back to our house. The entire 15 minutes were plagued with a nasty headwind, and it was like getting slapped in the face constantly until we reached home.
|December 16 long run|
I almost had to move Saturday's long run to Sunday because of an ice storm we had on Saturday morning. The roads were coated with ice until about 1:00pm, when the sun came out and melted everything. I took a nap at around that time, and when I woke up, I started the run at 2:30pm. This is really late for me, but my body responded well, and I managed 14.15 miles at a pace of 8:33. The great thing was that this 8:33 was truly my easy effort. I always run long runs based on feel and/or heart rate. I keep them truly easy so that I am able to execute my hard workouts during the week. I've never run an "easy" long run this fast so this workout is evidence that I'm starting to get into marathon shape.
Week of December 19: 60.4 Miles
My coach warned me that I would start to feel tired all-around with the increased mileage and he was right. This week was tough, and here's why:
Monday: 70 minutes easy (8 miles @ 8:46 pace)
Tuesday: Road intervals in 5-minute blocks. 1 minute hard (6:16 pace), 4 minutes easy. 2 minutes hard (6:21 pace), 3 minutes easy. 3 minutes hard (6:23 pace), 2 minutes easy. 4 minutes hard (6:45 pace), 1 minute easy. 5 minutes hard (6:37 pace), 3 minutes easy. 4 minutes hard (6:38 pace), 1 minute easy. 3 minutes hard (6:21 pace), 2 minutes easy. 2 minutes hard (6:20 pace), 3 minutes easy. 1 minute hard (5:55 pace), 4 minutes easy. The toughest thing about this workout is that after running 4 minutes hard, you only get one minute to recover! So I ran the 4-minute segments a little more conservatively, which is why they are slower than the 5-minute segments. Including warm up and cool down, I ran a total of 9.6 miles.
Thursday: 8 x 1000m cruise intervals with 200m recovery jogs. My coach told me that the goal was to get progressively faster with this workout, and to make sure I didn't go all out on these-- they were supposed to "cruise intervals" which is slightly faster than tempo pace. My plan was to run the first couple in 4:20 (6:58 pace), and get down to 4:10 by the end. I ran these intervals by feel because my Garmin pace gets all messed up on the track. I was incredibly surprised to see what my times were, based on how they felt! What felt like a 7:00 pace was actually a 6:45 pace. I love it when that happens. My splits were 4:14, 4:11, 4:08, 4:07, 4:04, 4:07, 4:06, 4:04. This comes out to an average pace of 6:38 for all of them! That's faster than my 5K PR pace, and I actually ran 8K, with minimal recovery time. This truly felt like a breakthrough workout. Including warmup and cool down, I ran 9.7 miles total.
Friday: 70 minutes easy (8 miles @ 8:42 pace)
Saturday: 16 miles @ 8:33 pace. Once again, I was not able to run first thing in the morning as I like to do. It was pouring down rain for most of the morning, and at only 38 degrees, it was a recipe for hypothermia. I started the run at 10:00am, just as the rain was tapering off, and the weather ended up being pretty decent, with the exception of some windy spots. I have to admit that this run really took it out of me, and I think it was the cumulative effect. Last weekend's 14 miler was a breeze and I didn't feel tired or sore afterwards at all. But yesterday, the last three miles were a struggle. I managed to hold it together, and even speed up, but I felt extremely tired. Afterwards, I napped for about 45 minutes, even though I had slept for nearly 9 hours the night before. And then, even after having a 45-minute nap at 3:00 in the afternoon, I fell asleep at 8:15 last night, and slept another solid 9 hours. I woke up feeling really tired, and so I'm hoping this is just my body adjusting to the mileage.
Sunday: 30 minutes recovery (3.4 miles @ 8:56 pace) Just a recovery jog to polish off a very hard week.
I really love the variety of my training plan: hill repeats, cruise intervals, road intervals, progression runs, steady state, and more! Interestingly, there has been no tempo running. And that's because research has shown that running slightly faster (cruise intervals) or slightly slower (steady state) than tempo pace is better for your lactate threshold than running at your tempo pace. I'm hoping that my training continues to go well and that the weather doesn't throw too many curve balls.