Thursday, February 2, 2012

I saw my shadow

Even if we do have six more weeks of winter to look forward to (and technically, according to the calendar, it's seven), it was nice to see a little bit of sun this morning. Really, anything that's not rain is nice. Well, as long as it's also not snow, ice, sleet, or freezing fog. I'm not picky. I'll take the clouds.

February is the second month of my Eugene Marathon training plan. (Although the official plan didn't start till mid-January.) So far, so...okay. I have not achieved any of the paces that I adopted from the Run Less Run Faster plans. I am hoping that by March maybe I will start hitting those paces...for now I am just trying to run at a level of effort consistent with the designated paces. If that makes any sense.

I have also had to adapt the plan to accommodate my life. For example, during the week of snow I missed several runs. I ended up running just twice that week (out of typical four), and neither was a designated key workout. (To clarify, I also did three snowshoe runs during the week also, but they were in no way typical runs!)

Last week I had a pretty good week in running. I did my first track workout on Wednesday, just 4 x 800 but it kicked me in the gut. My pace was abysmal not great but I did work hard at it. On Friday I did eight with five at marathon goal pace effort...all sub-9:30 so that's okay for now. Okay, my effort was a little harder than marathon goal pace should be...but I got through it. On Sunday I did sixteen miles, which was a compromise between the fifteen miles I had to cancel the previous week and the seventeen which I originally had on the training calendar.

On Sunday I did have a little external motivation to make my run strong. I got a really late start, but Rod suggested that if I got back by 2:00 we could go out to lunch (there was a timing issue relating to a basketball game). After nine miles I looked at my watch and it was about 12:50. Oh dear. That gave me just about seventy minutes to do seven miles...including any stops along the way.

Well, I will tell you I worked hard through those seven miles! I skipped a bathroom stop because I was not desperate to go and I knew it would fritter away too much time. I had to stop at two or three lights but other than that there was no random dawdling. I ended up getting back at about 2:02 or 2:03. Not bad at all! I enjoyed a delicious Rueben sandwich for lunch.

Unfortunately my runs this week have been less felicitous. On Monday I forced out six miles but my legs felt like lead. Wednesday morning I postponed my track workout to afternoon because it was pouring rain, and supposed to clear up in the afternoon (which it did). However, the track workout fell by the wayside when I found the track full of deep mud puddles and very, very dark (as it was after nightfall and there were no lights). I did run twice around the track slowly and determined that, with the puddles and the darkness, there was no way I could make a strong speed effort.

Instead I left the track and ran a few more miles on the road (for a total of 6.65). The run actually felt pretty good (no heavy legs), but I was quite disappointed at my pace. Maybe I let the running feel too good? Or (I prefer to think) the satellites were messed up and Garmin failed to properly record my pace. I went to yoga after the run, and normally I am too wiped after running to make the trip to yoga. So that might be an indication that I was underworking.

I didn't try to run again this morning (12 hours after my night time run), so that means that tomorrow I have to choose between the omitted speed work and a planned tempo run. I am kind of inclined to go with the tempo run. It seems like it would be overall more beneficial to marathon training than short distance track intervals.

This morning I signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon on October 7! I'm pretty excited about that (as well as Eugene, of course).

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