NYC Marathon Training: Week 8

Week 8 was the best. I hit 50 miles per week, a new high (but it's mostly because I swapped out days). I felt amazing all week. Here we go: 

Monday  - 18 miles

All of this stuff would have lasted two or three months if I were training for a half marathon. I eyeballed it and estimated it would last 2-3 long runs, max. I'm like a Pac-Man.

All of this stuff would have lasted two or three months if I were training for a half marathon. I eyeballed it and estimated it would last 2-3 long runs, max. I'm like a Pac-Man.

Before heading to the mountains last weekend, I went to REI to buy a water filter and saw they have a buy-12-get-20% all fuel. I had already grabbed a bunch of Clif bars, so I picked up some gels and chews for my long runs. 

For my 18-miler, I ate the entire package of Gu chomps, one of the Clif shot gels, and drank the Hammer Recoverite when I was done. I think I'm finally getting this "fueling" thing down. For the first time, I actually finished feeling strong.

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Like always, I fretted and worried and took forever to get out the door (I think it took me two entire hours to finally get going), but once I was running I felt fantastic. I had my watch on a screen that just showed distance and time of day, and not once did I look at my splits when it beeped mile times at me. I just didn't care. I ran without music and got to be alone with my thoughts. 

After last week's traumatizing dead deer incident, I took care to find a nice route this time. I again used MapMyRun and decided on one that was a long tour through a part of my neighborhood I haven't explored yet much -- a mix of trails and road. I painstakingly copied the directions in tiny handwriting on the back of an envelope and did my best to commit the route to memory, because even though I always write down directions I can't seem to find a pen that won't bleed everywhere the second I start sweating. 

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The route wasn't exactly flat (I don't even know if "flat" exists here) but the hills weren't unpleasant at all. There were a few that were so steep it felt like I was climbing stairs, but I just slowed down and tried to keep moving forward without walking. 

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I'm really happy with these splits, because I ran completely by effort and felt fantastic by the end. At mile 12 I thought, "I feel like I've hardly been running at all," and by mile 15 I knew I could kick at the end. My rough MGP is around 9:00-9:10/mile, and while this is a little on the slow side for long runs, I know NYC won't be as hilly, nor will it be 85 degrees on marathon day. There might still be hope for that sub-4 hour marathon.

Also, this is also the last long run I'll do on a Monday, because I accepted an offer for a new job. Running-wise, this means I will move my long run from Monday to Sunday. I'll be back to running before or after work again, too.

Tuesday - Rest 

Wednesday - AM Speedwork: 5x600 @5k pace  / PM: Recovery 3 with Fullsteam x Bull City Running Co.

I met a friend at the ungodly hour of 6:15 (I am NOT a morning person and set five alarms to wake up) at the football track. It's a nice track!

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It's been almost two years since my first & only 5k, so I wasn't sure what to claim as my 5k pace. Based on my most recent race (Wisconsin), McMillan said my 5k pace should be 7:50 -- but that's slower than my 10k pace? I figured I'd take my actual 5k pace (7:27) and accept anything between that and 7:50, just to be safe. That's between 2:46 and 2:55 per repeat.

Repeats:

  1. 2:39 (7:39 pace)
  2. 2:29 (7:26 pace)
  3. 2:29 (7:26 pace)
  4. 2:26 (7:20 pace)
  5. 2:13 (6:40 pace)

It turns out our repeats were a little short (550m, because I don't understand how tracks are marked) but at least the pace was right there. Honestly, this felt stupid easy. And after running 18 miles two days prior? I was floating.

Thursday - 5 miles (9:08)

This was supposed to be an easy run, but the heat broke and the running weather was perfect. I was zoned out and making laps around campus, not realizing this had turned into a progression run until I came home. I guess this is the downside to not paying attention to my Garmin? 

Friday - 4.15 with 6x100 strides

Another easy run with 6x100 strides. The pickups were: 20.4 (5:39), 20.9 (5:48), 19.8 (5:30), 21.1 (5:52), 21.4 (5:57), 20.4 (5:40). Sure, they're only 100 meters, but it's so freeing and thrilling to run fast like that.

Saturday - Midtown 10k (49:11)

 

I was a Girl Scout, but you wouldn't know it from this photo. I forgot 1) safety pins and 2) to take my glasses off. Anyone else have something I can carry for 6.2 miles?

I was a Girl Scout, but you wouldn't know it from this photo. I forgot 1) safety pins and 2) to take my glasses off. Anyone else have something I can carry for 6.2 miles?

Sunday - 12 @ "MGP" (8:47) + half mile cooldown

I woke up feeling hungover and tired from the post-race events on Saturday, so I told myself I'd do my run in the evening. I was anxious about this workout and my legs felt tired. Again, I thought I was going slower than I was and kept trying to dial it back. I was holding myself back the whole time.

 

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Total: 50 miles  

As I said on Daily Mile, this was the best week of training of my entire life: Running feels easy again! I reached my highest mpw ever, the most elevation climb in a week, and my first age group win.  

38 days!