Spring Race Training: Week 13


I’m fast approaching the sixth month mark of being on a “2 weeks on, 1 week off” training schedule. This arrangement has worked out remarkably well for me. I’m fresh and peppy for the two hard weeks, but by the time I get to the recovery week I really, really need it.

I had another great week. It’s starting to feel a little creepy. Or foreboding. Or something. Unnatural. I keep waiting for the giant 16 ton Monty Python weight to come crashing down, but it never does.

This week was, like the previous few recovery weeks, marked by insane hunger and terrible insomnia. I have no clue why these issues feature so prominently in what should be a “down” week, but they do. I’d be interested to know if others out in blogland experience these two things during recovery weeks too.

Despite last Sunday’s semi-epic fast finish 22 miler, I felt full of energy on Monday, and my fairly fast recovery pace reflects that.

Tuesday was basically a shortened version of what I did on Sunday — a mid-length general aerobic run with three miles at 6:50 tacked on at the end. This version of the run went a bit better than Sunday’s, as there was less wind to contend with (and seven fewer miles) and I was able to work harder during the last miles. On Sunday, I was just too fatigued to run 6:50 at the end and couldn’t get my legs moving (nor my HR above about 86%). In contrast, on Tuesday I had no trouble meeting (and, in fact, slightly exceeding) the required paces, and the run overall was on the quicker side, averaging 8:14.

Wednesday and Thursday each had two short recovery runs. Unfortunately, the right groin issue (that dates all the way back to late January) has returned, probably as a result of whaling on it Sunday and Tuesday. It’s not bad, though. Just annoying, especially on downhills.

Thursday’s PM run was, as it so often is, the low point of the week. I just felt like shit, especially after attempting strides in the morning. The pace is only as quick as it is (“quick” being a relative term when referring to 10:16 pace) because I wanted to get the run over with.

As usually happens, I recovered overnight and awoke a new woman on Friday morning. Since I seem to run at my best at about 7AM, I hit the track early and pulled another fabulous speed session out of my hat. Despite a steadily increasing wind, I managed to average 3:08s (right on target) for my half mile repeats, doing the second three faster than the first three. I even royally fucked up repeat #3 by pressing the wrong watch buttons. That repeat was somewhat comical, with my hitting “stop” instead of “lap,” then hitting “lap” instead of “start,” then running 200m with the watch off, then stopping and cursing…

Saturday was another down day, with a very high RHR of 56(!) and an exhausted run featuring lots of walking, sitting on benches and stopping to look at ducks.

Today’s run was supposed to be “very easy.” I was instructed to run this in the “low 9:00s,” which I did. Technically. I guess 9:01 average pace is about as low as you can go without running 9:00. I just couldn’t run any slower than this. But since I averaged 71% MHR, I figure that was okay.

This weekend felt like spring for the first time. While I’ve loved the warmer temperatures, the spring flowers and enthusiastic songbirds, the flipside is that everyone comes out on the weekend and clogs the path. I don’t know why morons are so attracted to bike ownership, but the combination of obliviousness and wheeled conveyance makes for some, uh, challenging encounters on the path. That and the dog walkers with 30 ft long leashes (with black cording, no less, so you can’t see them), ready to clothesline the unsuspecting runner.

And today I had my first bonafide smackdown with a male goose. He came charging at me, hissing and tongue-wagging. I couldn’t find a stick in time (my usual defensive move, stick waving). So I threw my arms akimbo, ran straight at the goose and screamed, “Fuck off!” Goose reversed course and scurried away. Unfortunately, there were no witnesses to capture the moment for YouTube posterity.

Coming up in week 14: Another plain vanilla 16 miler on Tuesday, 3 x 1 mile intervals on Friday (whee!) and a reasonably paced 20 miler (8:20ish) on Sunday.