Fall Training: Week 4

I’m currently in a post-prandial stupor, probably headed off for a short nap soon. What better time to recap the week’s running?

This was my highest mileage week since February: 90 miles. Hard to believe. Still, just 1.5 miles more than two weeks ago. But some of them were tough miles indeed.

A look back at the week:

  • Monday: 6.1 miles recovery pace (AM); 4.9 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Tuesday: 6 miles recovery pace (AM); 5.2 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Wednesday: 11 miles with 5 x 1 mile hill repeats (AM); 4 miles easy pace (PM)
  • Thursday: 7.9 miles easy(!) pace; 4.2 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Friday: 6.4 miles recovery pace (AM); 4.8 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Saturday: 6.1 miles recovery pace (AM); 3.4 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Sunday: 20 mile long run with 2 miles at marathon pace

Total mileage: 90 miles

Paces this week:

  • Recovery: 9:22 – 11:13
  • Hills: 8:49
  • Easy: 7:59 – 8:49
  • Long: 8:30 with 2 x 1 miles at 7:35 pace

We had a real heat wave for the early part of the week. Then the weather eased up a bit and it was both cooler and drier. But still pretty hot.

Wednesday’s hill run went well, considering that it’s been months since I’ve done any hill-specific running. We found a great half-mile long hill in Scarsdale along Grand Boulevard. It starts with a big uphill, then a little dip, then a shorter uphill. On a mile round-trip you get to work the legs (and lungs!) on both types of hills, extreme up and extreme down. I did five repeats sandwiched inbetween three miles there and three miles back — and was wiped by the end.

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Oddly, though, my legs felt very fresh later in the day, so my planned recovery run turned into a fairly quick easy run. I have days where I decide to just run faster if I feel good, just as I make a day that doesn’t feel good into a slower day.

Wednesday’s effort definitely lingered, though. My legs were sore and tired (very tired) Thursday, making for glacial paces on that day’s runs. Then I did a very fast easy run on Friday morning, because the weather was so lovely — cool, dry and in the 60s. Paid for it yesterday, when my legs were again complaining.

Yesterday also brought the worst thunderstorms we’ve had since moving up here roughly 14 years ago. Heavy rain started a little after 6PM and I waited for it to move on. It went on and on. I did my little recovery run inside on the treadmill, but Jonathan had gone out to do his on the path. I finished up at 6:40 or so and was in the kitchen, looking out the window, when the sky went black in the space of about 10 seconds. I thought, “Hmm, this doesn’t look good.” Then the skies opened up and buckets of rain came down, punctuated by lightning strikes.

Since I am the panicky sort, I got in the car to go look for Jonathan. Driving along the Bronx River Parkway, it was impossible to see more than five feet in front of the car. The roadway was a giant puddle, so I got off at Crestwood train station, hoping he’d taken shelter there. Ran up the stairs to see if he was inside, but no luck. Since the parkway was rapidly flooding, I decided to take local streets home to wait for him. But the streets were flooding too. I had a moment, right before driving into about two feet of water, where I thought, “I’m doing what stupid people do right now. I may need to abandon the car if it stalls out.”

Made it through the puddle and continued to stupidly think, “Well, I’m going uphill to our house. Higher ground should be safer.” Made the turn onto Underhill and it was a waterfall. I gunned the engine and hoped I’d make it up the hill. At our street, the situation was even worse: about a foot of water was rushing down the hill, carrying branches and boulders with it. The source was a drainage sluice that runs alongside our driveway, which didn’t look passable, let along driveable.

At that point, I pull up onto a neighbor’s raised driveway, turned on AM radio and waited. Flash flood warnings! Big shocker there. After about five minutes, the rain let up and the floodwaters started to ebb. Just as I was deciding what to do next, I saw Jonathan trudging up the street, looking like a drowned rat. It turns out he took shelter about a hundred feet north of the train station in a stand of trees. So I just missed him.

It was an exciting evening, to say the least. I had no plans to drink, but a shot of vodka was in order for its calming properties. Then a big bowl of mac and cheese and early bed for…

…the big run of the week: a 20 miler with some late miles at current marathon fitness pace (~7:35). Did this one on the treadmill due to dreadful humidity this morning. Luckily, I’ve got a 3+ hour mix of music on my MP3 player and for visual entertainment I watched “Waterworld” without the sound. “Waterworld” is sort of like “The Road Warrior” but with lots of water and none of the suspense or excitement.

I’d planned to do the last three miles at marathon pace, but my legs were complaining, so I cut it to doing miles 18 and 19, then a cooldown mile for 20. Yet another case of reminding myself that this is just basebuilding time, not real training yet. But soon. Soon.

Coming up in Fall Training Week 5: The mileage gets cut by 12 miles in order to be somewhat fresh for the Stratton Faxon Fairfield Half on Sunday. But not before a serious speed session on Wednesday.

2 Responses

  1. Holy cow! That sounds incredible. The weather is getting biblical. Glad you’re both safe after that scary adventure.

    I have come to just love Waterworld. It’s one of my favorites, but probably for no reason that the director intended.

  2. A lot off miles and rain!.
    And good luck sunday at the half marathon.
    So i run this sunday the half marathon!!.
    Groet Rinus.

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