Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Methinks I'm ready for the taper

I'm feeling at a loss for words. Some of it because I'm feeling a bit tired. Some of it because I'm feeling a bit unmotivated. Some of it because last week was pretty uneventful by my standards.

I ended up making last week my cutback week--my only of this 11 week training cycle. It's probably a bit silly since I should have just done my 20 miler on Sunday and had a longer taper, but whatever. However, Adam and I both had Sunday off together and so I decided that I would rather spend it hanging out with him than running for 2 1/2-3 hours and being a slacker the rest of the day.

I ran 3 6-milers and 1 7-miler last week--a nice little 25 mile week.  2 of the runs were on the TM and I tried to just take it nice and easy. 1 was at 8:34 pace and 1 was a progressive run that I turned up the mph with each mile.  I wasn't super hungry for more, but I wasn't feeling spent--I guess that's the point of a cutback week?

The 7 miler on Sunday was outside. It was weird that I was hot because my last Greenway run was snow-covered.  I normally walk down the entrance ramp area and then start my run when I get to the path. A girl came running past me on the path and I ended up less than a tenth of a mile behind her when I started. She was running about an 8:00 pace. I debated whether or not I was going to hover behind for a bit and see if she picked up the pace (ugh) or fly past her and then try to make sure she didn't pass me back (ugh). Fortunately, she stopped about a half mile into my run dead in her tracks to adjust something on her phone/music. Woot! I did pick up my pace at that point and felt my mojo come back with my legs working.

I ran 4 after work on the TM on Monday. Uneventful, but I did hold myself back knowing I had mile repeats to conquer today.

See, ever since I started this training cycle after BQing, I've been kind of avoiding true speed work. I did some 800s like the first week or two, but then I've just been running some of my random easy runs at a faster-than-tempo pace and calling that my speed work.

I think because I was feeling so good throughout my training cycle for Rehoboth, I was afraid that I was going to fail this training cycle. And if I lowered my expectations, I wouldn't fail!

Problem is, I do want to get faster this fall and I can't just completely slack on my speed work because I have different goals right now. So after an inspirational post from Mark in Loopville yesterday, I decided I was going to tackle those mile repeats come hell or high water.

Plus, I needed to break in my new shoes before my 20 miler on Friday:

I ended up doing them in 7:01, 6:46, and 6:34.

Not my fastest for a training cycle, but only 8 seconds off so I'm feeling pretty good. Here's the (what I've remembered to collect since marathon #1) history:

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2013B 2014
10 8:34 9:13 7:55 7:43
8:01 7:32
8:36 8:13 7:44 8:10 7:50 7:52
14 9:31 9:13 8:04 8:34 7:38 7:55 8:34*
8:37 8:18 8:08 8:14 8:04 7:44

8:25 8:07 8:19 8:13 7:55
20 9:00ish 9:00 8:18 8:04 8:19 8:12 8:00

Fastest Mile Repeat
7:41 7:09 7:30 6:42 6:26 6:34

Fastest Tempo 8:13 7:57 7:31 7:28 7:10 7:17 7:14

Race time 4:01:09 3:59:08 3:50:36 3:52:01 3:43:18 3:32:54

So now I just have to conquer that one last 20 miler and then it's taper time!

I did do a few things this past week that were picture-worthy.  I enjoyed a bourbon-inspired dinner with Adam at our local gastropub:

I made some cupcakes Sunday. Coca-cola with salted peanut butter frosting and almond with fresh strawberry buttercream:
Monday, my oldest pookie turned 12:
The younger pookie was excited to help celebrate:

Ah, the happiness of the pups!

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