Really, week 10 already? Three weeks from today, my race will be run. Will I make it in under 2 hours? Will I beat my last time? Will I even finish? Dramatic chipmunk builds the drama.
Damn you Kanye!!! Anyhoo, will I finish? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ve got this one. As terrified as I was at the beginning of this because 5-6 miles seemed hard and long after a summer of 5ks, it’s nice to get a good reminder that my body can do just about anything with reasonable training time. I’m going to work to not lose my mileage base this time. It helps that I’m coming out of the race when it is starting to be gorgeous prime outdoor running weather. I’m starting my last hard week of training actually THRILLED and GIDDY at the idea of some nice looooooong slow runs to get used to being on my feet past 2 hours. This is a good sign, as last time at this point, I just really wanted to finish the race and NEVAR RUN AGAIN…
Will I beat my time (2:16 and some change)? I think it’s almost inevitable. Saturday’s run was just a tinge slower than my last half marathon pace, and the after effects? I feel like I may as well have just gone for a long walk. I may not have *quite* hit some of my paces, but with how I’ve been running so far, I think I’d have to have a crazy bad day not to PR.
Now, beating 2 hours? I’m not sure. I still feel very strong when I run. But there has come a point where my body makes me aware that, no, in fact, I cannot do ANYTHING I ask of it. I can either get frustrated and piss and moan about it, or use those experiences to figure out how to best salvage each run that’s not going 100% perfect and keep those strategies in my back pocket for race day. I’ll choose the latter. My prediction? I’ll need a really good day to break 2 hours. But I’ve had good days! So we shall see.
So day by day –
Sunday: We decided to take a nice long walk because it was FREAKING GORGEOUS. We walked about 2.5 miles to lunch and then over 3 meandering back through some parks and nifty neighborhoods. I figured that just under 6 miles was nothing to sniff at so I counted it as one cross training day.
Monday: 6×800 miles. I went into the gym and started and while it wasn’t as bad as the 1600 sprints, it was no cake walk. Then in the middle of it, I remembered that this week and next week were the ones I added to the program myself (since there was either a 10 week or 16 week program, I picked the 10 weeks of sprints and upped the ante for the last two weeks). No one *told* me to do 6×800. I could *probably* quit after 4 and be ok. I could *probably* just cut the speed a bit on the last few and be ok. But then I realized after last week, I needed to do it just like I set out to do. And thus, I did.
Tuesday: Yoga’d it up, had a DAY at work, and decided I needed a rest.
Wednesday: 6 mile tempo. I had to slow down in the middle slightly, but I was able to pick it back up at the end and still make my 8:55-ish pace (I think it was 8:57 but whatevs).
Thursday: Was able to fit in 30 mins DDR, but not circuits. This means I took the entire week off strength training, which is not optimal, but it was a ROUGH week work-wise and very very busy. Sometimes, you take what you can get.
Friday: Since I was an idiot and stayed up WAY too late partying on a school-night (insert comment on not-a-role-model here), I got through the day, and then our houseguests pampered us with a home cooked dinner and an hour long massage.
Saturday: If you hadn’t gathered from commentary above, it had been a hell of a week. Crazy stuff at work, stuff to do after, and on top of it all, this morning I woke up and realized that it was that one morning per month where I’m lucky to be able to drag myself off the couch. My legs had also been constantly sore all week. It hadn’t even gotten better with 2 days off. So, I said screw the 15k race plan, and decided instead to do 9 miles easy, no pace requirement. This actually felt WONDERFUL, I got to enjoy the great day, my Zliten biked a bunch of the way with me, and I was ready an hour later to go out and do it again. I did a bunch of yoga after and felt even greater. My legs feel better now than they have all week. Sometimes, you just have to throw the plan out the window.
Sunday: movies on the couch. Resting up for the week to come. Not lookin’ like a fool with my pants on the ground.
This week is my last hard week. Next week, week 11, starts my full two week taper. There is some debate on whether you need that much, but I remembered running 12 miles 6 days before my race, and never quite felt rested, so I’m going to give it a try. At first, I was pretty freaked out about taking it easy for so long, but after having two completely WASTED weeks of training where I was lucky to get a run in at all let alone 3 at pace, and then bouncing back just fine, I think it’ll do me good.
And it’s not taper yet. This is what’s up this week:
Monday: 5×1600 sprints @ 8:25 min/mi pace. This is my own personal gift of hell to myself. At the beginning, when I put together the program, I thought, “I need more work at long distances being fast, so I’ll throw in mile sprints this week and add 1 since it’s the last week.” I think I might could go find a time machine, go back, and kick myself. I would take 12 x 400 over the mile sprints. These have been the toughest on me. But I suppose, it means I need them more than the shorter intervals.
Tuesday: DDR circuits. Or I might just buck up, head to the gym, and do weights. With my taper I need to taper the weights as well and I want to make sure I get in two good sessions this week.
Wedensday: 4 mile tempo @ 8:55 pace. Going to attempt to get my hiney up early and do this in the morning outside as I have a social engagement after work. Failing that, another jaunt around the campus at work.
Thursday: DDR circuits (or something equivalent involving WEIGHTS).
Saturday: 12 mile run @ 9:40 pace. This is another important one. If I can do this one on pace without too much trouble, it will be a good omen for the 1.1 mile longer race.
I’ve been giving myself a little leeway here as I’m pretty close to the race day. I’ve been actually pretty good about eating good food in mass quanitites (like a 2 lb bag of baby carrots and 1/2 lb pea pods… yeah, that was 3 days of afternoon snacks for me), minus yesterday evening’s cracker and cheese fest. I did fall off the tracking this week, so I’ll need to get back to that tomorrow. The scale has been between 156 – 157 (minus one odd day of 152.8 which I don’t believe) but I haven’t weighed since Friday, so again, will start monitoring tomorrow. It’s not been a bad exercise to track during this stage of training, as I actually most running days I’m struggling to eat ENOUGH.
So there. Wish me luck with this last week and I’ll be sighing with relief when Saturday afternoon rolls around. Still trippin’ out how awesome and loose my legs feel though!