Fall Training: Weeks 16 and 17

And…yet another twofer report. It’s just been easier to bunch these up into fortnightly reports, especially since in my current haze of exhaustion the weeks are a total blur anyway.

The first week of September provided somewhat drier, yet still warm, temperatures — up until the end of the week. It’s hurricane season — I know: so what? — well, we get the hurricanes after they flatten villages and kill people in the Gulf. They don’t kill us, but they irritate the hell out of us.

I started extending the length of my recovery runs by a mile or two to bump up the mileage. Other than that, things looked the same as in previous weeks: Lots of recovery running plus two or three hard sessions per week.

Week 16 consisted of 13 sessions, most of them (as per usual) recovery runs. Highlights included another sorry attempt at one of Frank’s Killer Tempo Runs. Given the weather and the fact that I seem to be incapable of running fast on the track, I approached this run loosely, doing 25 laps on and off heart rate in the high 80s/low 80s. Good enough. On Thursday I attempted another marathon pace run. I made adjustments due to the conditions (high dew point and windy). I hit 7:15 for a couple of the miles, but was slower for most others. Then the week was capped with a 10 mile race in South Nyack, a normally sticky race made even stickier by Hurricane Gustav. Again, slower than I wanted to go, but it was okay.

In week 17, this past week, also featured 13 sessions. I did another, longish tempo run, but this time on the roads. Instead of doing mile repeats as originally planned, I decided to do quarter mile surges at a pace anywhere from tempo to slightly faster than marathon pace, followed by quarter-to-half-mile easy pace recoveries. With temps in the 60s and a dew point of 55, this run went extremely well. Since the weather was really bad for the first part of the week, I moved the tempo run to Wednesday. Which meant I had to skip the midweek long run if I wanted to be in decent shape for the weekend. So I spent the next few days focusing on recovery so I could get ready for another big weekend effort in Central Park: 20+ miles with 12 miles at marathon pace effort.

A look back at training week 16:

  • Monday: 7 miles recovery pace (AM); 5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Tuesday: 7.4 miles tempo pace (AM); 6.8 miles recovery pace (pm)
  • Wednesday: 6.9 miles recovery pace (AM); 6.2 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Thursday: 14 miles marathon pace (AM); 4.8 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Friday: 6.9 miles recovery pace (AM); 4.6 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Saturday: 6.9 miles recovery pace (AM); 5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Sunday: 10 mile race (AM)

Total mileage: 91.2 miles

And training week 17:

  • Monday: 7.1 miles recovery pace (AM); 6.2 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Tuesday: 6.9 miles recovery pace (AM); 6.2 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Wednesday: 9.8 miles tempo pace (AM); 4.8 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Thursday: 6.9 miles recovery pace (AM); 6 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Friday: 6.8 miles recovery pace (AM); 5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Saturday: 20.4 mile long run with 12 miles at marathon effort (AM); lots of eating and sleeping (PM)
  • Sunday: 6.9 miles recovery pace (AM); 6.1 miles recovery pace (PM)

Total mileage: 99 miles

Paces these past two weeks:

  • Recovery: 9:30 – 10:45
  • Tempo: 6:32 – 7:21
  • Marathon pace: 7:15 – 7:30
  • Long: 8:04

Right now we’re in the grip of Ike’s heat and humidity. This morning was another run in Hades, followed by a run in a slightly higher circle of Hell in the evening. It was only after catching up on my blog reading that I realized that the Queens Half Marathon was held this morning. Bravo to the hardy souls, including Pigtails Flying (who PR’ed! Yay!), who braved 87% humidity to run that race this morning. I’m glad I wasn’t there…

Coming up in Training Week 18: This is the last big week of training before my three week taper begins. I have 100 miles planned, with hill work, a midweek long run, and another very long run on the weekend with lots of fast miles.