Tobacco Road Marathon Training: Weeks 8, 9, & 10 of 16

Last week was totally insane -- we moved into the house we bought back in the fall, which we'd been fixing up all winter (well, paying people to fix it up for us.) It's just a few blocks away from the place we were renting, which I guess is why we were overly casual about it all. We didn't do enough packing beforehand, rented a too-small van, and didn't have nearly enough helpers. The 16 hours it took to move all of our things were totally grueling; my knees haven't felt the same since. Our house is still, basically, a construction site, with no primer or paint on drywall, paper still covering the floors, some of the walls still open, and holes in the floor (covered temporarily with plywood), and dozens of other things too tedious to mention. Still, it's amazing to be rentfree and live in a place we own ourselves.

I had a delusional idea that I would run 12 miles the day of our move, which, LOL NOPE. I didn't do my long tempo that day, or cross-training the next day, or my long run over the weekend. Oh well, that's life. But I'm looking forward to getting back on track this week.

Since I last checked in and wrote about Week 7 of Tobacco Road training, the big news is that my long run pace is finally starting to drop -- a sign that I've turned a corner (I guess!) and the speedwork I've been doing is finally transferring to my long runs. 

For the first six weeks of training nearly all of my long runs have been in the 9:40-10:00 minutes/mile range -- not exactly inspiring for someone who is hoping to qualify for Boston. But in Week 8, I managed 19 miles at 9:17 pace, a nice improvement!!

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: 6 miles: 1 mile warmup, 2x(6x400 in 1:36 (6:26 pace) w/ 90 sec RI) with 2:30 min RI in between sets, 1 mile cooldown. Ab workout afterward.
  • Wednesday: 50 minutes on the bike, doing another hard/fast bike workout from the RLRF book. The bike workouts start out so short (20 minutes, a Portlandia episode) but lengthen as the plan goes on. I'm starting to think I should start a movie club with my fellow gym patrons.
  • Thursday: 6 with 3@7:54
  • Friday: 3 miles easy. I was supposed to ride the bike again, but they were all taken, so I ran instead.
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 19 miles (9:17 pace).

Total running miles: 34

Total training time: 6:20

My MO for long runs is to "just run" without looking at my watch. It's hard enough to get out the door knowing I am going to run for THREE HOURS STRAIGHT; it's too much to add pace pressure on top of that. Besides, I am pretty good about knowing what my "long run effort" feels like, and every training cycle I just try to keep my effort the same and hope my speed improves naturally. Needless to say, I was delighted in Week 9 when I finished 20 miles at a 9:00 pace. Everything's coming up!

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  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday:  2 easy miles + bike workout: 10 minutes easy, then a ladder workout with 1/2/3/3/2/1 minutes hard with one easy minute in between, 4 minutes easy to cool down.
  • Wednesday: 5 miles: 2x1600 (6:51) with 1 min RI, 2x800 (3:17) with 1 min RI.  This was hard.
  • Thursday:  Rest
  • Friday: 6 miles with 4 @8:06 
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 20 miles (9:00)

Total running miles: 33

Total training time: 5:42

Then, Week 10/Moving Week happened and everything came off the rails.

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday:  3x(2x1200) @ 6:45 pace. Another awesome, ass-kicking workout.
  • Wednesday: 45 minutes on the bike.
  • Thursday:  Moving day! Planned 10 @ GMP (8:12) // Actual: A million trips up and down the stairs; a million trips back and forth, loading and unloading, for 16 hours.
  • Friday: Unplanned rest day (Felt 80 years old when I woke up)
  • Saturday: Unplanned rest day
  • Sunday: Planned 15 miles // Actually did about 5.5 miles before I stopped out of worry I was doing permanent damage to my banged-up legs.

 Total running miles: ~10.5

Total training time: ~2:40