Last week ended up being a pretty solid week of training. The week didn’t start off that well, with a big project taking up my entire Monday and Tuesday evening – meaning I didn’t get in a run either day.
On Wednesday I was again late to my speed workout and actually drove to the spot where the group was doing repeat 1000m as opposed to parking at the school and running the 1.5 mile warm-up. That being said, I struggled mightily on my speed workout without having a warm-up. I’m just thankful I didn’t injure myself jumping right in without a warm-up. The times I hit weren’t too bad (3:39 average per split) but I had to give it all I had and my breathing and stomach were strained. The stomach thing is weird. Occasionally when I really push myself on a speed workout my stomach gets really upset, and I’m not talking nauseous – enough said. Anyways, I think the 1000m splits projected out to a 2:52 marathon but my speed workouts always project out to a faster marathon than what I’m able to actually do on race day.
After a tough Wednesday workout I just got on my stationary bike on Thursday for 30 minutes and did a light lifting session. I took Friday off.
I was dreading Saturday’s run. Our training schedule called for 22 miles and my training partner wanted to do 12 at long-run pace and the last 10 at marathon pace. For him marathon pace is 6:30 and I was going to try and hang with him. I was more nervous going into this training run than I have been for some races. I know I’m nowhere near where I need to be to hit 6:30 pace in the second half of a 22 miler. That being said, I ended up not having to. Two other friends and training partners who are shooting for 3:00 at Boston wanted to get in marathon pace as well so I had a 6:50 MP group to stick with. It ended up being for the best because my right ankle and right knee were giving me all sorts of problems and 6:30 pace would have been completely out of the question.
The weather Saturday was miserable. Friday was sunny and high 60’s. Saturday was pouring rain and mid-40’s. I dressed for sunny and 60’s, with just a short sleeve Mohican 100 t-shirt and shorts. I froze my ass off!!!! It made an already challenging run even more difficult.
Like I mentioned, my right ankle and knee have occasionally been bothering me recently. They were screaming at me on Saturday and I pretty much knew from mile 1 that 6:30 pace was out of the question. I again was running late and actually had to run two marathon pace miles (6:50) to catch the group…not a good way to start a long run. I settled into our 7:30 pace and was pretty relaxed by the time we hit mile 12 and the real fun would begin.
We set off at 6:50 pace and as is typically the case it always feels more difficult than you expect it to (always feels easier on race day). With the weather and the right ankle and knee pain I decided to shut it down after 6 miles. I just wasn’t feeling it and didn’t think it was worth killing myself when I’m not even racing Boston. I’ve got bigger aspirations for 2010 and don’t want to peak too early. With the first two miles at MP I guess that put me at 8 total miles at marathon pace for the day. I’m pretty sure I was showing symptoms of hypothermia on my two cool-down miles back to my car – my 9:30 recovery pace felt like I was moving at 20:00 mile pace.
I was really feeling it after the run. I took a cold bath because my legs were killing me, followed by a warm bath later in the day. I can’t remember feeling that bad after any of my recent marathons. With that being said you would think I would take Sunday off – not the case. My dad and a few friends were meeting up at Mohican and it was too enticing to pass up. If I felt as bad Sunday as I felt Saturday afternoon/evening than I would just hike the trails instead of running.
Well there’s something magical about Mohican – anyone that’s run there knows that of course. My knee was bothering me a little bit the first few miles but after a reckless few miles from the Fire Tower back to the Covered Bridge things had loosened up and I was relatively pain free. I really let loose on a few down-hills, hitting sub-6:00 on one of the miles – Don would be proud!
We ended up doing the 50k green, red, and lodge loop for 16 total miles. It was great to get out there with Dad, Rob, Michelle, Terri, Darris, Star, and a few new faces Mike and John from Tiffin. After the run a few of us went to Mellor’s for the best post-race meal you could ask for: $1.99 all you can eat pancakes!
I haven’t had that much fun running in a couple of months and it was great to be back on the trails I love so much. I was chatting with Rob on the Purple Loop for a bit about how much those trails feel like home. I can’t wait to get back for another run.