Spring Race Training: Week 9

09spr-training-09Another good week for me. Here’s the blow by blow:

The recovery runs throughout the week tended to be on either end of the spectrum, with most runs having me feeling a little tired, and two in particular where I had that familiar run-over-by-a-truck feeling. It’s funny what a number those runs can do on your head; you think you’ll never feel good again and you ruminate on exactly how fast you plan to run in The Big Race, which seems patently absurd as you shuffle along at 10:30…

I’ve had enough of those exhausted runs over the past couple of months to know that I can go from ass dragging to perky in a mere 12-24 hours. So I keep the faith, do the run, and try not to worry too much. It’s easy to see which was which this past week: The slower afternoon times on Tuesday and Friday are dead giveaways.

As usual, I had three hard workouts this week. Or, let me amend that: I’d gone into the week thinking I had two hard workouts and one colossally hard workout. As it turned out, the big scary workout turned out to be a paper tiger.

Since Sunday was the scary day, intensity was dialed back throughout the week. The Tuesday general aerobic run was sans tempo miles. Still, I felt good on Tuesday morning and took advantage of that by running a speedy pace after a very gradual, slowish warmup of 2-3 miles. Thursday was a fun session on the track (did I just include “fun” and “track” in the same sentence?). I felt the effects of that effort 24 hours later on Friday evening, but I recovered in time for…

Sunday!! Sunday!! Sunday!!*

Sunday was the huge workout that, oddly enough, I’d come to look forward to rather than dread. It felt sort of like engaging in a science experiment of questionable wisdom:

Enroll as your subject a 43-year-old woman. Have her run 101 miles in one week, followed by 78 miles the next. Make sure a fair percentage of those miles are fast. Then put her in Central Park and make her run 6 miles up and down hills. Then have her race a 15K. Then feed her a little, and have her do another six miles on hills. Finally, feed her an enormous stack of pancakes, place her in a recliner and observe.

The effects, at least so far, have not been dramatic. My legs are a little sore today (duh) and I’ve got some sort of weird problem with my left foot (inflamed tendon or something) that I’ll get seen to this week. Other than that, the crushing exhaustion and compromised performance I was anticipating yesterday didn’t materialize, nor am I particularly tired today.

Week 10 feels like a cakewalk until, again, Sunday. A little tempo work tomorrow, a little speedwork on Thursday, and no doubles. Then, on Sunday, the race I’ve been eagerly anticipating: a flat 30K that, weather permitting, I hope to run at goal Mpace or faster (7:04). I’d love to break 2:11 (that would be 7:02) pace, but I recognize it may be too early to hope for that.

*Remember those monster truck show ads? Jonathan and I were so enamored of them way back when that we actually decided to go to one to see what they were like. It was in Madison Square Garden — an enclosed space to offer extra exposure to exhaust and deafening engine noise. When I went to the box office to buy tickets, the agent actually said to me, “Uh, these aren’t for you, are they?” This is probably the actual ad that drew us in.