Fall Training: Week 3

I took a recovery week this week, having increased mileage significantly over the past few weeks, up from the ~45 miles per week I did during post-marathon recovery. I took Monday off and spent most of my sessions running at around 66% max heart rate. Very easy paces. I enjoyed all that slow running, actually. It gave me lots of time to think about all the not-so-slow running I’ll be doing in short order.

I had a good race yesterday, all things considered (weather, mostly). Then got my aching legs out of bed at 5:30AM this morning so I could be out doing my long run at 6:30 to beat the heat. Good strategy; I had a much better run as compared to last week’s Sunday death march.

A look back at the week:

  • Monday: Rest day
  • Tuesday: 5 miles recovery pace (AM); 4 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Wednesday: 7 miles recovery pace (AM); 6.1 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Thursday: 7.3 miles recovery pace
  • Friday: 6.3 miles recovery pace (AM); 4.8 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Saturday: 6.2 mile race
  • Sunday: 14.3 mile long run (steady pace)

Total mileage: 61 miles

Paces this week:

  • Recovery: 9:18 – 10:46
  • Race: 7:07*
  • Long: 8:42

Despite the fact that the heat index was around 85 degrees this morning, I felt surprisingly good on my long run. Well, at least for the first seven miles. Once the sun came up over the trees, I had to slow down a bit. I did a repeat of a 7+ mile loop so I could stash a big bottle of water at the halfway point. That seemed to help a lot, as I always felt much better following the three stops for water over the course of two hours.

My legs are quite tired today, though. I know it’s from yesterday’s race, because the fatigue is in the muscles I’m only aware of after running fast up and down hills: adductors, glutes, hamstrings, quads. (Seems like there’s not much left, doesn’t it?)

Still, running in the heat this morning wasn’t that bad. The humidity was actually pretty low (around 60%), so that helped, despite the high temperatures. It was nice to be done with my long run by 9AM (shower included). It typically monopolizes my entire Sunday morning.

During the workweek I’ve been getting up earlier either to do some work in peace (before the rest of the world wakes up and starts bombarding me with email, phone calls and instant messages), or to go running. The flipside, of course, is that I’ve been going to bed earlier and earlier (because I fall asleep in my chair) as a result of getting up at 5:30 AM these days. At least my hours are reasonably flexible, so what I’ve often done is do the bulk of my work starting very early in the day, go out for a run from 11:00-12:00, then knock off work at 3:30 or so to relax or get errands done until I have to go running again at 6:00. Now that summer’s here, however, I suspect I’ll be trying to run as early as possible to beat the heat. In any case, I am so grateful that I don’t have to commute.

Another flipside, though, if you can have three of them, is that since I freelance in addition to my M-F contracting gig, I often have to work weekends to get all the work done to meet deadlines. This weekend was the first one in nearly two months during which I had no freelance work to do! So I’ve enjoyed the hours of nothingness. I’ve watched television, websurfed on the couch, napped and generally avoided anything resembling productivity, such as housework, bill-paying or errands. Even with the oppressive heat, it’s been a great weekend. And now, since it’s Sunday (my “free day” to eat and drink what I want), I think I’ll go crack open that bottle of sauvignon blanc…

Coming up in Fall Training Week 4: The mileage ramps back up to 88. Plus I do my first hill repeat session and cap the week with another 20 miler with the last few at marathon pace. Whee!

*Garmin says I ran 6.45 miles. I believe it; it was very crowded in spots.

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