Four weeks of training are officially dunzo! I may have a lot of nerves surrounding this race, but so far, training is going pretty darn well. This week was one of my better ones.
- Number of workouts this week: 7! An interval run, a tempo run, a long run, two cross training session (walking and cycling), ab ripper x twice! Stellar!
- Total number of miles run so far during training: 80.6 (24.6 this week)
- Geronimo’s total number of miles this week: 2 (womp womp)
- Temperature on the coldest run: a pleasant 45 degrees
- Days until the marathon: 77
My only regret is that Geronimo didn’t get much running in. Part of that is due to the fact that he had an epic bath and brushing session. I wasn’t much in the mood for getting him dirty again right away. I’m sure that’ll change next week.
As for yesterday’s practice half…
Yesterday’s long run was supposed to be 12 miles run at marathon pace plus 45 seconds. Instead, I ran 13.1 miles as fast as I could in an attempt to simulate race conditions and see where I’m at in my training. My goal was to run it in 2:05, which would be a 9:33 average pace. That’s what I aimed for from the start.
Mile 1: 9:34
Mile 2: 9:22
Mile 3: 9:28
Mile 4: 9:24
The first 4.5 miles, I felt amazing. It was such a beautiful day out (we are thankfully having more and more days like this!) that I just took in my surroundings and ran. I ended up running the total 13.1 miles in 3 different directions, making a y shaped course. In two of those directions, I ran further than I had before. I felt like this had a race-like aspect to it since I was running in places I never had before. It kept me distracted, but it also made for a tough, hilly course.
Mile 5: 10:07
Mile 6: 10:30 (<– death by hills)
Mile 7: 9:59
Oh, the hills. I love the rolling hills we have here in Bavaria, but I don’t think they love me back. After my taking a quick walking break to take some gu at 4.5, the hills started to roll, roll, roll. My legs started to cry, cry, cry. But I still had a great many miles before me. All I could do was run on.
From the halfway point onward, it was a battle of mental versus physical. My heart was still in it. I still wanted that 2:05. But my legs weren’t really interested in running much more, and my head kept saying things like, “I’m dying,” “This is killing me,” “I can’t keep going,” “Aaaargh!” (That last one was also definitely said out loud multiple times.)
Mile 8: 10:14
Mile 9: 10:05
Mile 10: 10:00
The final few miles were made easier because I had run by my house and dropped off the empty gu and water bottle I had been carrying. I knew that I just had to go a few more miles out and back and then I’d be done. My legs were getting tired tired tired by this point. I think it was muscle fatigue. They didn’t hurt, but they didn’t feel good. My right leg in particular was not happy with me. Perhaps I step too heavily with my right side.
- Mile 11: 9:21 (<–downhill!)
- Mile 12: 9:59
- Mile 13: 9:19
- Last .1 8:50 pace
I called Stephen when I only had one mile left. I asked him to stand out in front of the house and watch me run in to the finish. For some reason, I felt like if he was standing there, it would help me to run faster. Well, it made me want to run faster, but my body wasn’t feeling cooperative. At last, my Garmin hit 13.1 and the misery was over.
My run stats:
- 13.1 mile finish time: 2:08
- Average pace: 9:47 per mile
I am not totally sure what happened. Was 2:05 too ambitious? Did I go out too fast? Was it just the hills that did me in? My finish time wasn’t too far off of my goal, but I felt totally and completely spent afterwards. And there’s no way I could have run any more than that.
2:08 is by no means slow. And again, it’s not that far off of my goal time. But I kind of hate it. The last time I ran a 2:08 half was almost exactly a year ago. It was a PR at the time. And I finished that race feeling great. I am finding that the best thing I can do is not compare where I am now to where I have been previously. Easier said than done. It still stings. I have been training hard and consistently. Shouldn’t I be reaping the rewards of my speed work? Or am I reaping the rewards and this is the best I am capable of? It certainly was yesterday.
I’m trying to remind myself that marathon pace is 10:00. Had I run 13.1 miles at that pace, I’d like to think I wouldn’t be feeling so tore up and that I would have had the energy to go a few more rounds. Plus, the marathon is still months away with a tons of training ahead. Other positives: I’m healthy, my body lets me put it through this bologna week after week, and I live in a gorgeous location that makes the yuck of running a little less.
I’m glad I practiced. It didn’t quite give the confidence boost I was aiming for, but it did give me the experience I needed. And from here I can try to make improvements so that when March rolls around, I’m ready.
I’m going to learn from this week and move on to the next. Sally forth!*