Spring Race Training: Week 14

09spr-training-14Crikey. I’ve been in serious training now for well over three months and I’m still standing, albeit at a slight lean some mornings.

Coming off of a recovery week, I was bursting with energy starting on Monday morning. Tuesday’s run was a big surprise, with my having planned to average 8:00 pace, but getting carried away and running nearly 16 miles at an average of 11% slower than MPace. For this, I have to lay blame where it’s due: squarely on Colleen De Reuck’s shoulders.

With yet more energy to spare, I ran Wednesday’s recovery runs too fast. The AM run because it was just so darned pleasant outside; the PM run because it was pouring and I was freezing and just wanted the damned thing over with.

I paid for my folly on Thursday. At least I was smart enough to swap runs and put the longer one in the morning, since the pattern is that I’m drop dead exhausted on Thursday evenings. This week was no exception. Actually, it was exceptional in that Thursday’s PM recovery run was one of the worst runs in recent memory. The image of myself resembling a shuffling, scowling reanimated corpse haunted me throughout. Even the ducks were laughing at me.

I have learned to have faith in a night’s recovery and Friday morning confirmed that this faith was not misplaced. The morning presented a rare combination of ideally cool temperatures and a mere 3-4mph wind on the track. I ripped through my 3 x 1 mile intervals at about the same pace as the half mile intervals just a week before. From reanimated corpse to Wonder Woman in just 12 hours, although my pride was tempered by the fact that there was no way I could have done a fourth. But the good news was, I didn’t have to!

Our freak heat wave moved in on Saturday. It was still cool on Saturday morning, but by the afternoon it was 85F out. I was in such a heat-induced stupor that I got all the way down to the running path before realizing that I’d forgotten to put my watch on. I can’t remember the last time I ran without a watch. It was liberating and relaxing. Something I’ll probably do a little more often on some recovery runs.

Sunday called for a “time on my feet” long run with nothing special. I’d been told to try to run at 8:20 pace. But since I was running in Central Park in very high heat (91F at the peak), I ran by the HR equivalent of 8:20 lately, which is around 76% max. I managed 8:46 pace at 77% MHR. It was not fun. But being in the park with water, ice cream and the odd Olympian nearby was a much more appealing proposition than slogging all the way up to the Valhalla Dam all by my lonesome.

The sun and hills did a number on me, though, necessitating my longest post-run nap ever: around three hours in la la land. I haven’t even slept for that long after a full marathon.

For week 15 I do just one hard workout on Tuesday (14 miles with the last 4 at MPace), followed by a short taper to get ready for the New Jersey Half Marathon on Sunday. So far, the weather forecast looks good: 50s at the start and overcast. But it’s only Monday…