Fall Training: Week 13

A little late in coming, but it was quite a week last week and I’ve been sleeping when I haven’t been working (or propped glassy-eyed in front of the Olympics).

I had big miles again last week and three hard workouts: 99.4 miles with a tempo session on the track, a midweek long run and a big 24 miler in Central Park.

A look back at the week:

  • Monday: 6.1 miles recovery pace (AM); 6 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Tuesday: 6.8 tempo run (AM); 4.1 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Wednesday: 14.3 long run (steady pace) (AM); 4.8 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Thursday: 6.3 miles recovery pace (AM); 4.5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Friday: 6.1 miles recovery pace (AM); 5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Saturday: 6.4 miles recovery pace (AM); 5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Sunday: 24 mile long run (various paces) (AM)

Total mileage: 99.4 miles

Paces this week:

  • Recovery: 9:30 – 10:40
  • Tempo: 6:33 – 7:20
  • Marathon pace: Pffft!
  • Long: 7:40 – 8:30

The weather was somewhat better on a few mornings, but most days it was hot again. Too hot to hold desired paces. Again. If I hadn’t done some successful marathon pace running last week during a rare cool and dry morning, my confidence would be completely shot at this point.

Tuesday’s tempo run was an experiment with something I found called Frank’s Killer Tempo Run: 25 laps around a track, alternating between marathon and 5K race pace. I’m not sure how many runners’ deaths Frank is responsible for, but this workout nearly killed me. In fact, it was impossible to run at my (projected) 5K race pace of 6:30 for most of those quicker intervals. The usual problems: heat, humidity, blazing sun, and 8-10mph winds. *sigh*

Still, it was a good workout and I’m sure it did me some good because it basically wrecked me for the rest of the week. I’ll do it again, but next time I’ll run the faster loops at 10K race pace, which is closer to what I was able to do anyway.

Wednesday’s 14+ miler went very well. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself, it’s that I can sometimes do good back-to-back days, with the fatigue delayed until after that second hard day. I usually feel great (and run well) after the first hard day, in fact.

But I do pay for it during the latter part of the week. I gave myself three days to recover and get ready for the longest run of this training cycle, a 24 miler. Because I hate myself, I decided to do this one in Central Park. I had planned to do 10 at marathon pace, but, alas, the tireness after banging away at close to 100 miles for three weeks — combined with the relentless hills, heat and humidity — meant that marathon pace running was not to be.

I did manage about 6 miles at marathon effort (although not marathon pace), which I was fine with. Hey, doing the other 18 miles at 8:30 pace is nothing to sneeze at, considering. So I made peace with my legs and with myself and looked forward to this week’s recovery period of low mileage and low intensity.

We went out to dinner Sunday evening (for the great caloric blowout a 24 miler calls for) at a newish place in Tuckahoe, The Tap House. Nice place, but unfortunately the food was mediocre. With the exception of Sammy’s Downtown in Bronxville (where we had a very nice dinner on Christmas Eve), the restaurant pickings up here have been slim. I always end up wondering afterwards why I bothered going out when I can cook great stuff myself at home. They do have some interesting beers there, though.

Next week begins the month long “peak” period, otherwise known as Julie’s Odyssey of Pain and Exhaustion. Four weeks of high mileage, high intensity work with lots of marathon-specific running. Including a 10 mile tuneup race* (pray for cool weather). So I want to make damned sure I’m recovered going in. I’ll be running somewhere in the neighborhood of 55 miles this week, perhaps less if I’m still feeling tired as the week progresses.

Coming up in Fall Training Week 14: Two full days off on Monday and Tuesday. Then recovery running all the way through Saturday, topped with a leisurely paced 14 miler on Sunday.

* This is the best race ever, as far as I’m concerned. The post-race party features fresh ravioli, ice cream — plus beer poured from a spigot attached to the side of a van. Now there’s a reason to run 10 miles fast!