Tobacco Road Marathon Training: Week 7 of 16

By the end of the holidays, I'm usually more than ready to settle back into my routine. And by this point in training, I am usually patiently waiting for the switch to flip -- for running fast & long to start to feel easy. I want to breathe easy, I want my legs to turn over, and I want to feel like I have limitless energy. Thankfully, the shortest way to the big switch is to take a drastic recovery week. The week I was in New York, I ran only 12 miles and change, so it's no surprise that this week was a breeze. 

On Tuesday, I did 5 miles with 6x800 with 90 second rest intervals. My 800s were 3:34, which is a good sign, if you believe are a member of the Bart Yasso school of thought on marathon predictor workouts. (Note: doing just six of these 800s doesn't "count" as a true marathon predictor workout; I would have to do 10 in 3:34. But still.) 

I have a history of totally taking advantage of my rest intervals and dragging them out as long as possible, but RLRF kept me in line by describing exactly how long, in minutes/seconds, my RIs should be for every single workout. (No more 50-90% RI -- I never did get the hang of those!) I thought this workout would be pretty tough, but my legs felt so fresh and the 800m was nearly over before I felt like I'd started working. It was awesome, and all thanks to my unplanned recovery week last week.

The bad news is that I lost my headphones, so I had the most excruciating 8 mile tempo run on the treadmill with no music, nothing but the cacophony of panting and shoe-slapping from my fellow gym patrons to keep me going.

  • Monday: Rest (Amtrak home)
  • Tuesday: 5 miles: 1 mile warmup, 6x800(3:34) 90 sec RI, 1 mile cooldown
  • Wednesday: 50 minutes cross-training on the bike: 10 minutes easy, 20 minutes at "tempo effort," 5 minutes easy, 10 minutes at "tempo effort," 5 minutes easy.
  • Thursday: Swapped my Thursday & Friday workouts for scheduling reasons, so this became 30 minutes on the bike + an ab workout. 5 minutes easy, then (1-2-3-4-3-2-1 minutes at "hard effort" with a 1 minute easy RI in between), 4 minutes easy.
  • Friday: Yesterday's tempo: 1 mile warmup, 6 @ 8:24 pace, 1 mile cooldown.
  • Saturday: Rest (work day at the house)
  • Sunday: 18.15 miles

Total running miles: 30.15

Total training time: 6:19

A belated goals post

I guess there's no time like 20 days after New Year's to share a wrap-up of the 2014 goals I never got around to posting about!  This wasn't really out of privacy, but laziness -- the post was sitting in my drafts folder this whole time. 

My one & only 2014 running goal: PR in the marathon: 3:4X at the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon in April. 

  • Result: Done! I PR'd at Kentucky by over about 13 minutes. I got my 3:4x (3:45:02).

I also had a modest bike goal: to ride my bike again & maybe even enjoy it. I was never a timid cyclist; I was someone who used to exit Central Park at the Apple Store and cruise down Fifth Ave "for fun." But after my crash, things changed. I wanted to at least try riding my bike again, and see if I could find a way to feel safe enough to remember how fun it can be. 

(Slowly) return to horseback riding: I wanted to fill in the holes in my flatwork by taking some dressage lessons. I also wanted to continue to abstain from the equestrian blogosphere and social media. It brings out a fierce, sad jealousy in me that would totally ruin everything.

  • Result: I did keep riding, but I didn't take any lessons. I did stay away from horse blogs, thank god. But I haven't really ridden since November, when we bought/started renovating a house and I started training for Tobacco Road. I had to give something up and this was it (upon hearing this news, my 13-year old self would be shocked & speechless..)

As far as 2015, I've been thinking about whether there are any running goals that feel important to me this year. I started training for Tobacco Road with an ambition to qualify for Boston -- a goal I carried around with me everywhere -- at work, on my commute, when I was trying to fall asleep at night. And yet, mysteriously, now that training is well underway the feeling has started to wane. I know better than to trust a feeling like that -- the time goals I get so amped about before marathon training always seem to fade away once training is underway and my attention turns to the immediate physical and logistical concerns: getting the day's workout in, stretching and rolling out my aches and pains, staying ahead of my carb needs and getting tons of sleep (marathon training sounds pretty nice when I describe it that way!) 

Anyway, more on 2015 goals later. Or not!