Training week in review: 9 of 18

This week’s training theme:

Train to race. Not the other way around.

Before I begin, a moment of silence to commemorate…the halfway point. I’m halfway through this program and I’ve not died, quit, nor been rendered blind, crippled or insane.

Well, I ran a great half marathon a week ago. And I paid for it all week. The result? I needed to recast this week as a recovery week and take my first day off from running in since November 4.

I probably ran the hardest race I’ve done so far last weekend and I was unprepared for how much time I’d need to recover from it. I managed to stick to the original training schedule from Monday through Thursday, although things were rapidly cratering by Thursday evening. I even ended up taking most of Monday off from work since I felt so exhausted.

I also had a new pain in my right leg, in the back of the knee, which I suspect was some sort of mild tendon or hamstring strain. I felt it twinge a few times during the race, right after the uphill portions, and had wondered at the time if it would linger as a problem. Plus my left lower leg and foot were complaining for four days post-race. I hobbled through two long runs on Tuesday and Thursday, but had to cut short an evening run on Thursday due to acute pain in several spots on both legs.

I hated to do it, but I decided not to run at all on Friday — then see how I felt on Saturday. Instead, I rode the stationary bike (which had been gathering some dust). It doesn’t get used much, but when one of us is slightly injured, I’m really glad it’s there. I did 40 miles on the bike on Friday, then another 32 Saturday morning. By Saturday evening I felt good enough to attempt a recovery run on the treadmill. By this morning I was all better and able to go out and do a decent long run.

So, hurrah! for rest and recovery. And a real lesson learned about racing during training. Longer races are probably not such a great idea. I will reverse what I said last week about not being able to hold back from really racing in a race. Instead, I’ll use a few local races for training. In particular, I’m going to use next weekend’s NYRR Bronx Half Marathon as my 12 mile marathon pace run. Then I’ll use a 25K “Boston Buildup” run in CT three weeks later for my 15 mile marathon pace run. It should be nice to be able to focus on pace in these races, practice fueling (and drinking on the run), and not worry about finishing time. I’ll also take this experience as an indication of how long I need to recover from a hard half — at least four days, preferably five.

This was another week spent inside on the treadmill, with the exception of today, my first run outdoors in a week. Not much else in the way of running news. We’re getting our 80-year-old slate roof replaced. It’s been removed and hauled away in a giant dumpster. Now the roof is naked (save for the waterproofing layer) as we await the arrival of its replacement material, supposedly happening Monday. All I know is next week is going to be LOUD.

A look back at the week:

  • Monday: 5 miles recovery pace (AM), 3 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Tuesday: 6 miles recovery pace (AM), 5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Wednesday: 4 miles recovery pace (AM), 15 mile long run (steady) pace (PM) — I really soldiered through this miserable run
  • Thursday: 5 miles recovery pace (AM), 3 miles recovery pace (PM) — a 5 miler I cut short
  • Friday: No running; 40 miles on the bike at 16MPH
  • Saturday: 32 miles on the bike at 16MPH (AM), 5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Sunday: 17.7 miles long run (progressive) pace

Total mileage: 68.7 miles

Paces this week:

  • Long: 8:30 – 9:45
  • Recovery: 10:15 – 11:10
  • Bike: Blech. Screw the bike.

This week’s quote:

“No marathon gets easier later. The half way point only marks the end of the beginning.

— Joe Henderson

Coming up in training week ten: I bagged the planned marathon pace run that was originally scheduled for today in Central Park, since next weekend’s Bronx half marathon offers an opportunity to do it complete with volunteer support and post-race food! As for the rest of the week, it’s all recovery pace doubles or mid-length long runs. Back up to 85 miles, but nothing crazy in terms of the actual workouts. With this weird leg issue, I want to be cautious. This is especially true since week 11 features a 93 mile schedule. One thing I will try next Sunday is a slightly more aggressive definition of “marathon pace” — probably 7:50 or 7:55. Just to see.

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