Training weeks in review: 10 and 11 of 18

This week’s training theme:

High mileage is only as intimidating as you make it.

This week’s report is a twofer: weeks 10 and 11. It’s two…two…two reports in one. Running 12 times a week takes up a lot of time, plus other life and work commitments have beckoned.

Week 10

week 10 was notable for the fact that over 50% of the mileage was recovery running. And not a moment too soon. I came into the week still feeling somewhat beaten up by the Manhattan Half Marathon, and I needed to be conservative in order to have enough energy to do the Bronx Half as a productive training run.

The right leg pain and various and sundry other complaints went away this week, which was helpful. It was basically another week where I felt like I was constantly running. Because I was. I ran 11 sessions during week 10, including two shorter recovery runs on the same day as the two mid-week long runs. After doing a long run, it’s difficult to do another one — even a very short, very easy one — a few hours later. But I figure those recovery runs are in there for a good reason, so run them I did.

The week was capped by the Bronx Half, which I’ve already reviewed in another post.

A look back at the week:

  • Monday: 5 miles recovery pace (AM), 5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Tuesday: 4 miles recovery pace (AM), 15 mile long run (steady) pace (PM)
  • Wednesday: 6 miles recovery pace (AM)
  • Thursday: 13.2 mile long run (steady) pace (AM), 3 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Friday: 6 miles recovery pace (AM), 5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Saturday: 6.5 miles recovery pace
  • Sunday: 16 miles with 13.1 at marathon pace

Total mileage: 84.8 miles

Paces this week:

  • Long: 7:55 – 9:45
  • Recovery: 10:15 – 11:00
  • Marathon: 7:57

This week’s quote:

I ran and ran every day, and I acquired a sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never give up, no matter what else happened.

–Wilma Rudolph

Week 11

Well, this week was, as my father once remarked upon seeing a very excited bull, an “intimidating” week. The whole enchilada. The big kahuna. Well over 90 miles. 90 miles comprised of two mid-week long runs, lots of recovery running, and my longest training run ever, in Central Park, no less.

In actual fact, this week didn’t feel that hard (but I’ll see how I feel tomorrow before I get too confident about coming through it completely unscathed). It was a lot of easy running and I didn’t go nuts on the long runs since I knew today’s run in the park was going to be a real bastard.

For weather and work scheduling reasons, I did the majority of my runs (including the 13 miler…ugh) inside on the treadmill. But I got out for two recovery runs with Jonathan yesterday and, of course, hit the Central Park loop this morning, bright, early and chipper at 8:15 AM.

The park run, despite its placement at the end of the week, was the centerpiece of this week’s training. As it was my last chance to do a training run in the park, I made the most of it. I ran clockwise (which I’m sure drove a lot of the people running counter-clockwise a little mad; they can blame New York Road Runners for their race course design), covering the full, outer loop four times. I ran with my dorky hydration pack, although I didn’t end up taking much water in the end.

Going four times around the park was less tedious than it sounds. The miles went by quickly, probably because I was actively trying to memorize the course, establishing easily recognizable landmarks to help me during the race (and to come up with a realistic pacing strategy beforehand).

It was a very good run. I only started to feel low a bit past mile 19 and a gel perked me right up. I even ended up running too far: 24.75 miles (target was 24). Average pace for the first 18 miles was 8:40. Last six and a bit were at 8:13. I tried sprinting the last couple of hundred yards to Tavern on the Green (where the marathon ends), although I skipped the raised Ryan Hall monkey arms.

It was a tiring run, but not totally draining, and running faster during the final miles wasn’t that much of a struggle. As far as endurance goes, and the consistency in running later miles faster, I’m feeling very confident in my fitness. I’ll see after a few weeks of speedwork if I can improve on things in the final few weeks of this endeavor.

Some things I learned this morning:

  • The bathrooms at the Boathouse are very fancy schmancy. And they don’t mind if you’re a grubby runner. The Boathouse has what looks like an excellent bar too.
  • Pedestrians are often quite surprised when you won’t stop for them when they step directly into your path.
  • A flock of blackbirds lifting and arcing over your head is a beautiful thing to behold.
  • An Irish wolfhound is big. I mean BIG.

A look back at the week:

  • Monday: 5 miles recovery pace (AM), 6 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Tuesday: 15 mile long run (steady) pace
  • Wednesday: 6 miles recovery pace (AM), 4 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Thursday: 13 mile long run (steady) pace (PM), 3 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Friday: 5.5 miles recovery pace (AM), 4.5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Saturday: 6.2 miles recovery pace (AM), 4.1 miles recovery page (PM)
  • Sunday: 24.8 mile long run (progressive pace)

Total mileage: 94.1 miles

Paces this week:

  • Long: 7:48 – 9:30
  • Recovery: 9:35 – 10:15

This week’s quote:

The long run is what puts the tiger in the cat.

–Bill Squires

Coming up in training week twelve: Next week offers some respite (and, I hope, recovery) from this past week’s high mileage. Of note is my very first ever speed intervals session on Tuesday. With the exception of some compulsory (and humiliating) time spent on my high school track during physical education class way back when Donna Summer was puttin’ on the hits, I’ve never done any running on a track. So we shall see. The rest is same old, same old: recovery running, a couple of long runs and one easy 10 miler. At this point there’s no discernible difference in my pace between easy and long runs, so I may push the pace a bit on that one.

2 Responses

  1. Freakin’ pedestrians.

    I read that I should be putting in 20 miles a week before I start actually “training.” This is possible, if not probable. I can imagine such a thing.

    Your 90+ miles is just…well, my GOD.

    When is the race?

  2. Hmm, I alternate between clockwise and counterclockwise in the park every week. I never realized you were supposed to go one way or the other! Shows my inexperience with NYC running I guess 🙂

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