Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week In Review: Sept 5 - 11

Running ShoesThis is my weekly training journal. Including it in the blog gives me a little extra accountability in the mileage department & helps me stick to my schedule. :)

9 Weeks to Clarksburg Half Marathon

12 Weeks to Cal International Marathon

Tuesday: 7 miles (3 wu + 3 x 1600 @ 10K pace w/ 400 recoveries + .25 cd) Today was the Day of Redemption for last week's Track Session from Hell. It's been touch-and-go with my shins since the 12 miler Saturday, but, as always, I figured I'd do what I could do, and if I was suffering too much, I wouldn't push things. Warm-ups are always a good predictor for me of how the workout will go, and within a couple of laps I knew that taking both Sunday and Monday off was the right call. Although it was hot and windy, so my pace was a little slow by the numbers, I still had a good, strong speed session and got all the miles in, with no pain to speak of. (Hell, I even thought about running a 4th repeat, but decided I had enough mileage planned already this week, thankyouverymuch. Maybe next time.)

Also, can we talk for a minute about how *cute* the off-season high school track kids were out at Kezar? 5 x 400 with 30 seconds rest -- oh yeah. I remember exactly how miserable and unappealing that sounded after a summer of basically sitting on my ass playing video games. ;)

Wednesday: 6 miles easy. Wednesday was originally scheduled as a rest day, but since Monday was originally 6 miles easy & I took that day off, I decided to go ahead & do the 6 on Wednesday. If I continue feeling good for the rest of the week, I'll do the rest of this week's runs as scheduled. However, given next week's schedule, that would put me at eight consecutive days of running, so it's possible I'll skip Friday's easy six and make that a rest day. We'll see.

Thursday: 9 miles (2 wu + 7 @ MP) This run actually got its own post earlier this week; my target pace was sub-8:00 / mile, which ended up being more like 8:08 with the wind on the back of the track (grrr...). I kind of wonder if this was still too hard; occasionally I'd see numbers like 7:40 & 7:45 on my Garmin on the homestretch (no wind), which is too fast. Also, running 9 miles on the track is pretty much what I imagine purgatory is probably like.

Saturday: 8 miles (3 wu + 4 tempo + 1 cd) One of the slightly tricky bits about this training cycle is making sure that I'm not focusing on the marathon in December to the exclusion of the half marathon in November. Part of the way I'm trying to address that is by doing more frequent and longer tempo / half marathon pace runs than the marathon plan strictly calls for. Technically there's a little bit of a difference between tempo pace and HMP, but for my purposes I've kind of decided to split the difference & call it good. (The alternative seems to be doing a tempo run AND a half-marathon pace run each week, in addition to a speed workout, a marathon pace run, and a long run, and that just seems like a bad idea all around.) Basically what I'm calling "tempo" pace translates into however fast I can run while staying in the 185-190 bpm range, or about 83-85% of max. I ran on the track today, so with the headwind, that ended up being about 7:37 / mile & averaging 187 bpm. (Guessing that would be somewhere in the 7:25-7:30 range with no wind.)

In contrast to the marathon pace run on Thursday, this run was actually pretty fun. I set my Garmin to auto-lap every quarter mile, which is nice because I can break up the run more or less into laps -- mentally, the self-talk goes something like, Alright, run a 1:53-55 lap. Check. Alright, run another one. Check. Oops, 1:57, pick it up just a touch. Check. It's actually a pretty great way to learn what that level of effort feels like. This was the first run I've had at this pace where I've really felt that although, yes, it's hard, and yes, it takes some effort, and no, it's not super-comfortable, I could actually see holding that pace for 13 miles. The only down side was that I'd actually wanted to do five tempo miles, but the track police came & shut everything down for a soccer game. I thought about doing one more hard one on the roads after dropping my stuff in my car, but by then I was getting cool & a bit stiff so I just jogged one more easy mile instead.

Sunday: 11 miles easy. Sunday was the first time I had a chance to run with some of my fellow Bay Area runner / bloggers (& runner / non-bloggers). Alysa from Diary of an Average Runner organized a 9/11 memorial run in Golden Gate Park (hence the 11 miles) -- it was great to finally meet several of the runners whose blogs I frequent (including Sandra, Marge, and Naomi) as well as a few other folks. We had a great run with great weather the whole way. Thanks, everyone! :)

Grand Total: 41 miles
Suuu-weet! This the first time I've had a 40+ week in about a year, so I'm pretty pumped. Hopefully I'll stay healthy & able to keep it up. :)

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