I did a lot of steady running this week in an attempt to recovery a bit. It’s amazing how cutting back just a little can make a huge difference. I got my mojo back!
Week 9: February 12th – February 18th
Sunday: Recovery run. 8 miles + sprints
Monday: Medium run. 12 miles. 5 miles easy + 7 miles @ MP+5-10%
Tuesday: Interval run. 4 x 10 minutes @ half marathon pace w/4 minute active recoveries
Wednesday: Recovery run. 5 miles + pick-ups
Thursday: Tempo Run. 15 miles w/9 miles @ MP
Friday: Recovery run. 6 miles
Saturday: Long Run. 20 miles steady + 2 mi @ HM
Mileage Total: ~75 Miles
Adaptations. After last week, I tried to take things down a notch. Tuesday’s interval workout was at half marathon pace instead of 5-10K pace. But, to get a little leg turnover, I did “pick-ups” to easy pace on Wednesday’s recovery run. I decided to scrap the MP miles on Thursday.
Goal. Do a traditional tempo run. Outcome: Fail! I didn’t feel confident enough to try running that kind of sustained pace.
Medium Run. 12 miles. 3.5 miles easy + 7 miles @ MP+5-10% + 1.5 miles recovery [Log Details]
It was a windy morning. A couple of weeks ago, I would have thought, “It can be windy on race day, so you need to push it!” Humbled by last week, though, I ratcheted things down. I ran an out-and-back on the W&OD Trail and could feel the wind pushing me back with every stride! In fact, I turned around early when I realized running a half mile more didn’t matter. I immediately felt the difference in effort with the wind at my back! I knew as long as I keep my legs moving, I would fly down the W&OD to end the workout.
It’s hard to know what to think about this run since it was so windy.
Interval Run. 4 x 10 minutes @ half marathon pace w/4 minute active recoveries [Log Details].
I had a good warm-up and the first repetition felt pretty easy. I told myself to relax and not press too hard. The second repetition felt hard but not stressful. My legs felt a little heavy during the third repetition but I told myself, “Tomorrow’s an easy day, you need to push!” I was thankful that my workout partners came back for me during the recovery. It gave me confidence that I wasn’t struggling as much as I thought I was. By the fourth repetition, my legs felt like tree trunks. But, I powered on. I felt completed wiped but was inspired when a random runner passed me and said, “Go get it!” I finished with a respectable split.
As I shuffled though my cool-down, I felt proud that I completed the workout.
Split paces=7:22, 7:28, 7:28, 7:32. Average=7:28.
15 miles w/9 miles @ MP 14 miles w/10 miles @ goal marathon pace+20 seconds [Log Details].
I programmed my Garmin based on my run from a few weeks ago before the run and it was good to have pace ranges – particularly in the early miles – to stop me from going out too hard. The first 7 miles flew by. And then, I usually have a let-down during the upper part of the Mount Vernon Trail. I focused on my music to take my mind off of it and… it worked! My Garmin was warning me that I was running too fast rather than too slow! By then, a light snow was falling and it made the landscape beautiful. I thought I should stop to take a picture but I was running so well that I didn’t want to! Around then, I started to get pain in my toe pad – as if the spot of my blister was tearing. But, I managed to hold on.
I was pretty happy with the run. It was a good distance but I didn’t feel exhausted at the end.
MP+20 seconds pace=8:21. Overall pace=8:39.
Long Run. 20 miles steady + 2 mi @ HM [Log Details].
During the warm-up, I tried to just keep a steady pace. When I hit the Mount Vernon Trail, I picked things up a bit, though. I was running low 8-minute pace, which is fast, but it didn’t feel “hard”. After 50 minutes, I took in a Crank Sport e-Gel and then stopped at the water fountain by National Airport to wash it down and refill the Nathan handheld I’d been carrying. The next few miles were pretty uneventful. The temperature was in the 30s at the start of the run but with it felt much warmer as the miles ticked off.
During the Lee Highway uphill on the Custis Trail, I switched from thinking about pace to keeping my heart rate out of the “maximum” zone. I ate my second gel at the 1:50 mark.
I decided to hammer the last two downhill miles on the W&OD Trail and ran sub-8:00 pace!
I felt pretty great after the run. It was great finishing a run strong instead of exhausted.
Half marathon segment pace=7:48. Overall pace=8:32.
Injuries. My piriformis was a little irritated at the start of the week but nothing close to pain. I’m still seeing my chiropractor once a week, though. The blister on my right foot pad hurt a little but nothing I couldn’t run through.
Weight. My weight dropped again over the weekend and stayed in the mid-120s for most of the week. I carbo-loaded at the end of the week for Thursday’s medium run and Saturday’s long run.
Sleep. I didn’t have problems with my sleep this week. I just didn’t get enough of it most nights.
It was consistently cold – 30 to 40 degrees – all week. On Monday, the winds were around 20 mph with 40 mph gusts! Thursday’s run had some surprise snow flurries. It warmed up today, though. I ran in shorts!