The mileage drop in Week 10 helped me quite a bit this week. I felt great all week despite the problem of March winds, which asserted themselves on Tuesday morning and again, overstaying their welcome, today for my Sunday race.
With the exception of one slower treadmill session, all of my recovery runs were on the quicker side. I may be getting fitter and faster, or it may just have been a spell of temporary freshness from the relatively low-demand days of the previous week.
In any case, all of the hard workouts went exceptionally well. Tuesday’s midlength easy+tempo effort was a surprise. With bad wind, I figured I’d be lucky to get below 7:00 pace on the last four miles. But I was able to run pretty close to goal pace for two of the four miles, then had to slow down for the other two headwindy ones. Still, eight seconds off pace per was fine with me.
Considering how difficult these longish easy+tempo runs have been for me so far, I felt as if I’ve made a real leap in endurance. That will be put to test next Sunday, when I run a 22 miler with the last three at 6:50 pace.
Thursday’s track session featured delightful weather: 50 degrees and a wind of merely 4mph. The goal was 4 x 1000m in 4:05 each (6:34 pace) Splits were a little uneven, but they averaged out to 4:06: 4:10, 4:03, 4:06, 4:06.
On Thursday afternoon I finally got in to see our orthopedist/sports med guy. After an unnecessary x-ray (performed without even having looked at my foot; no wonder our health care costs are so high) he diagnosed a cyst or “thickening of the sheath” of a ligament. One painful cortisone shot later, I was on my way. The foot feels great now.
On Friday I ran a 10 mile recovery run in a steady downpour and was soaked by mile two. But it was actually enjoyable, with temperatures around 50 — once I accepted that I was going to be wet (and very badly chafed, as I soon discovered), it was sort of fun running straight through six inch deep puddles. I felt great and ended up running 9:07 pace for that one. I did seven strides too, but they were a joke in those conditions.
Once again, I loaded up on carbohydrates on Friday and Saturday to prepare for today’s big sandwich run/race out on Long Island. That went very well — historically well, even!
Week 12 is another 100 mile effort, with a plain vanilla 15 miler on Tuesday and a monster track session on Friday (or maybe Thursday, depending on weather): 16 x 400 in 1:37 with 45-50 second rests. Eep!
And yet…and yet…I find myself looking forward to it. I want to see what’s possible. Or, rather, see if what I think is possible is actually doable. I’ve also got that 22 miler on Sunday, but (and maybe this is a mistake) I’m almost treating it as an afterthought to that beeyotch of a track workout.
What remains to be done between now and May 30th is a great mystery. I’m eagerly awaiting the final eight week schedule from Coach Kevin. If it weren’t my birthday, I’d say I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.