Spring Race Training: Week 16

09spr-training-16Well, this was it — the last week of real training. From here on out, it’s taper, taper, taper.

I took two days to recover from the half marathon last Sunday. Not surprisingly, I was still tired by Tuesday evening and after a conversation with Kevin, downgraded the Wednesday workout from 15 miles w/last 5 at 6:53 to a more doable 12 miles w/last 4 at 7:00. Wind and hills thwarted those plans slightly, but I was close enough at 7:05.

Thursday and Friday were not notable, although as the weekend drew near I needed to make a decision about the major 22 miler: Do it on Sunday as planned, despite a forecast of 20mph wind with gusts at 30? Or move it up to Saturday, with a 3-6mph wind, but extremely high humidity. I opted for Saturday despite the fact that it meant sacrificing one day of recovery (and running hard in sticky conditions). I just couldn’t look forward to running 48 laps on the track in energy-sapping wind.

So although it was uncomfortable running hard in 90% humidity, at 60F it was cool enough that it wasn’t horrible. I feel good about the effort, having done the “warmup” 10 at a respectable 9:20 pace (70% mhr) and managing an average 7:18 for the 12 on the track. I figured I’d “lose” 10-15 seconds due to conditions and residual fatigue, so I was mentally prepared for something slower than the goal pace of 7:05.

I finished up with a slow 10 miler this morning, also good for getting rid of a slight hangover.

I’m happy to report that all niggling injuries are gone at last. I tested carrying gels in my race shorts yesterday (which will require some modification with a needle and thread to better secure the gels in their special gel pockets), selected and tested race gel flavors and settled on which shoes I’ll wear.

Next week features another MPace run on Wednesday (just 2 easy + 10 at MPace, which I’ll again do on the track). Then a little 14 miler next Sunday. I think the total is under 60 miles. Then it’s all recovery running from there on out, save for one rehearsal run a few days before race day.

Excited. Nervous. Relieved. Take your pick. I’m feeling all three right now.

10 Responses

  1. Nice running week and i do not run so much miles(km) in one week.For you a litle, for me a lot!!!.
    One week for the Hoorn marathon and i feel someting like i do run a PR or i run a bad time?.
    But i now that a marathon not run away from me!.
    Julie, your feeling is oké.
    Rinus.

  2. Wow, how exciting to be so close to taper, and thus your big event! Tell me again though why you’re doing so many miles on the track?

    • I do the MPace miles on the track because my running path features lots of things to slow me down: long stoplights, hills, blind underpasses and all manner of vicious geese. Since the marathon I’m running is (by all accounts) both flat and uncrowded, the track is probably a better approximation of the race environment I’ll face in a few weeks.

      I can also stick a bottle of water and some gels on a turn and get to it at any time.

  3. Curious: did you do the first 10 of the 22 miler on the roads, and then hit the track for the last 12? You must have — how else would you keep your sanity.

    I’m pretty fortunate in that I’ve got access to a long paved bike path with accurate half-mile markers. Additionally, a local running club has painted lines for the quarter miles. So, when I do tempo runs or VO2 Max work, I usually do it there, on a flat section.

    I could not physically or mentally handle 48 laps at 7:05 on the track.

    • Oh, god. Can you imagine running 22 fucking miles on a track? I can’t. No. I do the 10 miles on the road and then suffer through 12 on the track.

      You know, I found it strangely meditative, though. I opted for no MP3 player for either run. During the 10 miles on the road, I focused on running well on the track. Once on the track, I focused on trying to maintain pace (like the marathon, it does take concentration) and just spent the time contemplating the orange and white, orange and white, orange and white before me.

      Saturday also took me through a full lacrosse team training session and the start of a lacrosse match. My favorite part? When the coach of the pee wee lacrosse team was heard shouting, “If you don’t stay behind the line I’ll make you run a lap!” As the old saying goes, “Our sport is your sport’s punishment.”

  4. Newport, OR looks like a nice little marathon. I was checking out the website. Small field and a flat course. Running on wooden docks gives me the weirds, but that’s probably just me. Is 7:05 your target pace?

    Rinus – Good luck at Hoorn. Get that PR!

  5. Well, I ran an hour on the track not long ago and that took “forever” ;)

    One of our elite runners from the 80s, Jamie Harrison, used to do a lot of training on the track (he was primarily a 5000, 10000 runner). He ran a 20 miler once on the track that had an awful positive split – something like low 50s, then 60.

    Good mental preparation, that’s for sure, although I wouldn’t be keen on all those left-hand turns.

  6. I’m so excited for you and yay on those niggles having left the building. May this be a lovely taper period with as little insanity/anxiety as possible. Here’s to energy and replenishment fusing in those glorious gams of yours!

  7. What brand/oz.shoes are you wearing for the race?

    • I’ll be wearing the Pearl Izumi Streaks. They weigh a little over 7oz each. I’ve not worn them for a full yet, but they held up well over a fast 22 miler.

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