It was a weird week – I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel at the end of it. Monday, I rocked my sprints. I completely and totally rocked them. I rocked them like Amadaus (come and rock me Amadeus… and total tangent, did anyone else used to sing “I’m a danish, I’m a danish…I’m a danish?). Anyhoo – sadly, I had given myself permission to fail at them. I was going to be ok if I was about to die after 4, quit there. Or if I had to take the last 2 a little slower, I was going to be ok with that. I had a helluva day at work, I even kinda did something I haven’t done in a while and ate some cake because I was pissed off after I was totally full from lunch, and then for some reason it became REALLY important to me to do this. Just to show myself I could. Just to take control of SOMETHING that day when everything else was out in orbit.
And honestly – it almost felt easier than it should have. Sure, it was tough, but it wasn’t TOUGH. Maybe that’s me getting stronger. Maybe it was me refusing to let the run beat me. Whatever it was, it was damn nice. It was one important crazy run down, one to go.
Tuesday and Wednesday were more crappy crazy days I was in such a mood, never mind the working late, so I just managed to get about 30 mins half assed weight training in and take the other day off. These strength exercises may or may not have been between/during drinks on the patio. I may possibly be insane and completely irresponsible, but I was getting a kick out of doing lat raises in my skirt and heels with a bourbon chaser.
Thursday I knew I had to get back to it, and it wasn’t SUCH a bad day, and it was 4 mile tempo day. As I said last week, it was pretty cake. Instead of just being a ball of limp putty, I was able to do 30 mins on the arc trainer after. To make up for the severe lack of any other movement beyond runs. The plan was to do some circuit training but I was soooo done with doing anything but dinner and chillin’ on the couch, and figured I’d just rest up for Saturday’s run. So my cross training this week? 30 mins weights, 30 mins arc trainer. Not optimal. Not at all. I was feeling pretty meh about it all this week but then Saturday came.
I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. The weather report was not looking kind – there were very few hours of the day that would feel like they were above freezing with the wind. I got up in the morning and we grabbed some early lunch – tuna sammiches from Schlotzky’s – oddly enough they are the only tuna I will eat out because they do albacore and light mayo (so the sandwiches aren’t like 50000 calories), and they are taaassssty. So I ate that around 11, and we sorta bopped around the neighborhood, and then I got home and very very leisurely got ready and I set out around 1:30.
It was a little cold when I first set out, but once I got running it wasn’t so bad. I decided to just do my neighborhood laps over and over so I could drop by the house if I needed to pick up or drop off layers. I set out with warm water in my camelback, swedish fish for rocket fuel, and the promise to myself that I would treat myself to the hot chocolate I was craving, but only if I made my pace goal of 9:40. I felt super strong the first lap and went well below pace, the second lap I slowed a bit, the third – around mile 6, the tuna really started talking to me. I don’t usually eat so much before a run, usually a protein bar and maaaaybe some fruit if it’s later in the day, so at first I was cursing myself. Then after I got through the cramps I realized that I was feeling something different than normal – I wasn’t hungry. Usually around then I’d pop my rocketfuel. I didn’t actually use it at all. I ran 12 miles hard with no sugar. That was pretty incredible.
So besides figuring out that eating a big meal is good if I can let it settle/deal with the possible side cramps (probably not for the race at 7am, but for future reference), what else? Well, I’ve also learned another interesting thing about my running for long races… I went out really fast (about 9 minute miles the first lap) and was a little worried, but it was a MUCH better run than the last one where I tried to save it all for the end. I seem to self correct my pace pretty well. So my strategy is to go out as fast as it’s comfortable and don’t try to stay one pace and bust ass if I need a quick slowdown. I was running 10:30 miles on the uphill parts and the short time where my side cramps flared up. When I felt good and it was flat or downhill, I went closer to 9 minute miles or even faster. As long as it averages out to the pace I want, it’s fine. And that’s why I’m training those sprints and tempos – so I’m comfortable running faster than the pace I need to go for an extended period of time.
I finished the run in 1:55:10. 9:35 pace. I am thrilled and feel quite confident now about the race. I definitely feel like I had a bit of oomph left at the end, and if I was running to feel entirely wasted and spent at the end I might have been able to go faster. So under 2 hours? Still possible. I’m thinking under 2:05 is more reasonable.
Next week – taper week 1. I still can’t believe I’m just 2 weeks out. I’m definitely ready for it, I’d like to do something different for a while. 3 months of pace pace pace has been awesome for improving my running, but it’s been a little tedious. I so enjoyed my scenic and slow 9 miler last weekend, and look forward to more of those as I work on getting used to being on my feet for 4 hours at a time. But first things first – lets rest up those legs.
Monday: 4×800 sprints @ 4:02 per, 400m recovery in between, 1 mile warmup and cooldown. Easy peasy, nice and short. I’m not sure when 5 miles with 2 of them sprinting because a stroll through the park but hey, I’ll take it.
Tuesday: DDR circuits (I was going to taper strength 2 weeks ahead of time but I think 1 week will be fine)
Wednesday: 3 mile tempo @ 8:55 min/mile pace – it’s like a 5k, pretty close to my PR pace from last summer. Again, when did that become easy?
Thursday: DDR circuits
Saturday: 8 mile run @ 9:40 min/mile pace
Fairly easy week. I really slacked on yoga this week (though I DID stretch really well every running day), I need to not do that this week. No injuries please!