Sunday, November 18, 2012

Peak Weekend

This was my last higher mileage weekend before the Honolulu Marathon. Now it's all taper, baby. And the Seattle Half Marathon next Sunday, of course.

Let's recap this mini-training cycle, shall we?

October 7 - Twin Cities Marathon

October 8-11 - rest and recovery (with cross training)
October 12 - first run back!
October 14 - Poulsbo Half Marathon (back on the horse)

From then on I was back to running four days a week. I cut back from five days a week during the summer ultra training. Since I've been doing 5Ks and long runs most weekends, that means two weekday runs most weeks. I'm mainly recapping the weekend runs here. During the week I've done some speed work, tempo, and marathon pace runs (also using the weekend races as tempo).

October 20 - 12 miles
October 21 - Goblin Gallop 5K (plus two miles warm-up and one mile after)

October 27 - Fall Fun Run in Monroe (5K)
October 28 - 15.6 miles

November 3 - 18 miles
November 4 - Get Your Rear in Gear 5K

November 10 - Fowl Fun Run 10K
November 11 - 15.25 miles

That brings us to this week, in which I squeezed in an extra run due to the day off on Monday. That was a good thing, since I kind of skimped on the distance of my other two weekday runs.

November 12 - 8.5 miles
November 14 - 6.25 miles with four miles at goal marathon pace (sub-10)
November 15 - 6.6 miles with 10 x 400
November 17 - 20.05 miles
November 18 - Green Lake Gobble 5K

This week I dealt with my mild frustration over rarely making my paces on the 4:15 training plan, by switching over to the 4:30 plan. I am happy to say that my paces are pretty much already consistent with that plan. Actually the marathon pace under that plan is 10:18...I'd still like to go closer to 10-minute pace (if possible) to allow for bathroom stops and other delays.

I'm really pleased with how my 20-miler went. The designated goal pace was 10:30. This was my perfectly executed pacing plan--

Miles 1-8 - average 10:30. My individual miles were all over the place (I had a one-mile hill on Ingraham) but my average after eight miles was 10:32.

Miles 9-13 - pick up the pace a little on the Centennial Trail, maybe 10:15? Actually my miles in this section were 10:00 or under. During each mile I ran easy for half a mile (10:15-10:30), then pushed it in the second half (9:30-9:45). After 13 miles my overall average was 10:20.

It would be nice to have picked up the pace again for the last seven, but I knew I would slow down, due to tiredness and shoulderless roads. So my plan was to do 10:30-10:35 or so. I didn't calculate but I think those miles did average in that range My overall pace at the end was 10:24.

Best of all, I didn't feel too tired at the end and I even had a slight finishing kick. And even though my legs got a little stiff in the afternoon and night, they were never really painful or crampy.

So this morning I got up early, picked up my parents and headed to Seattle for another 5K, the Green Lake Gobble. I was not excited about this. Not because of tired legs, but because of the depressing grey skies and steady rain which persisted pretty much until I finished. I said things like, we should just turn around, or go out to breakfast, and I was only half joking.

At least we arrived early enough to get a good parking spot. I put on a raincoat and ventured out to get my bib and chip. Then I huddled in the car until 9:00 (the race started at 9:30). So I didn't have time for a three-mile warm-up.

Instead I dressed myself in a garbage bag, jogged two miles along the lake, used the porta-potty, and threw my bag in the garbage just before I joined the crowd at the start.

I've always liked 5Ks at Green Lake. The route was mostly on the road circling the lake, and finished on the lakeside path. (The 10K included a second loop on the path around the lake.)

So my tired legs didn't give me any trouble, but they didn't go above and beyond either. I pretty much ran an 8:30 pace throughout. My first mile should have been a little faster, but I probably lost about ten seconds due to crowding at the start. I slowed a little in the third mile (even though I thought I was pushing harder!), but sprinted in the last .1 to finish at 26:31 chip time. Still haven't gone under 26 minutes this fall...only the Jingle Bell Run Mt. Vernon remains.

I'm not too horribly disappointed, though, I'm actually pleased to do this well on the day after a 20-mile. It wasn't the most fun trip for my parents, though. Because of the rain they didn't get out of the car at all at Green Lake. I think my dad still regrets that. As we drove away we could see the 10K runners still running around the lake. I was not sorry to miss it.

My planned long runs for the next three weeks are:

November 25 -13.1 miles
December 2 - maybe 10 miles
December 9 - 26.2 miles, Honolulu Marathon!

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