3 Weeks to Clarksburg Half Marathon
6 Weeks to Cal International Marathon
This was not the week I was hoping for, less than a month out from Clarksburg. I had several days where my calf and tendon injuries were bad enough to keep me from running or cut runs short, which means I didn't come anywhere near close to the mileage I'd planned. I didn't end the week in a good place physically or emotionally and had to do some serious work to keep myself from wallowing. (Okay, there was a little wallowing. But I did manage to keep it under control.)
Although my 18 miler last Sunday was a strong run, it left me kind of busted (for a lot of reasons). I'd already planned Monday as a rest day & figured I'd play Tuesday Track Day by ear. Happily, Tuesday came and I felt good enough to at least go out to the track and see what my body was capable of.
Tuesday: 10 miles (1.5 wu + 6 x 1600 @ MP minus 10 seconds / mile + 800 recoveries x 5) These were a lot easier than the 3200's I did last week! In fact, the first four felt nearly effortless. I had to work a little on the fifth to keep up my pace, but more importantly, that was when my stupid left PT tendon started bugging me (and whatever tendon it is that runs behind your knee on the inside, which I clearly tweaked on the 18 miler). The sixth took real (but not obscene) effort, but tendon pain aside, I felt nowhere near as trashed at the end of this session as I did after last Tuesday's.
And, um, wow. 9 miles at 7:57 / mile average pace felt positively easy! I mean, yes, it took effort, and I would've preferred to run slower, but for the first time, I really had a sense that this was a pace I could maintain for a good, long time. There may still be some hope for a sub-3:30 marathon after all. (Then again, I suppose that is the magic of taking two rest days in a row.) My stupid tendons did start talking to me around the 7th MP mile, so I kind of feel like whether or not I can pull it off on race day may have more to do with injury stuff than with what kind of shape I'm in.
Saturday: 7 miles easy(ish). On Saturday I got up early (WHAT!) and met Courtney at Golden Gate Park for a few recovery miles. This was awesome because a) I had someone to run with and b) I've been reading her blog for months now but never met her in person, and it is always cool to meet fellow bloggers. The night before I was all like, "Oh, you know, I just ran 11 miles tonight with 9 of them at marathon pace, so I *ONLY* want to do, like, 10-12 easy miles tomorrow." (This was kind of going to be the cut-back week "medium-long-ish" run.) Heh; my body clearly had other plans.
I almost never run twice in a twenty-four hour period and Thursday night was a tough run (though good), so when we took off, my legs were kind of like, "Uhhhh...didn't we just do this?" But whatever. Recovery miles are good for you. The other trouble was that I hadn't eaten a whole ton after my Thursday run. I knew I needed to, but I just didn't have an appetite. I did, however, see my way to two mugs of lapsang souchon tea.
Guess who has two thumbs & was still awake at 4:00 am? This moron. (Though, to be fair, I also had a not-insignificant nap Friday afternoon, which probably contributed to the problem.)
I don't like to eat too much before running in the morning, so I just grabbed a random half of a Clif Bar I happened to have sitting around, washed it down with some apple cider, & headed out. All told, you can see why 2nd run in 12 hours + insufficient eating + insufficient sleep + hot weather = a reasonably tough "easy" 7 miles! Courtney & I ran from the Conservatory of Flowers down to the Great Highway, then back up MLK, cut across to JFK, & then to Stow Lake to meet Alyssa. At this point I was completely out of gas so they ran with me back to my car at the Conservatory, then headed off to do some more miles. Yay running with bloggers!
The only down side to this run was my stupid left PT tendon. It started bugging me about halfway through the run & continued bothering me all the way to the end; after I got home & showered & went to grab food, the pain got worse, and by the time I got back home I was limping. I tried to stay off of it as much as I could Saturday in hopes that it would be in decent enough shape to run on Sunday.
Sunday: 1 mile
But, thankfully, I got to spend the rest of the day eating tasty food, drinking wine, & hanging out with good friends at a bbq elsewhere in the city. Yes, it was hot as balls, but hot as balls + shade + cold wine + floppy hat + not moving = quite lovely, actually.
Grand Total: 29 miles
I wasn't planning on HUGE miles this week, but I had hoped to at least break 40. C'est la vie. What I'm learning more than anything else this cycle is that there are things I can control and things I can't (eg, body stuff), & there's no use beating myself up over the things I can't. Le sigh.
I was planning for this coming week to be my last really big number week & to get in the 55-60 range, including a long run, one more time before tapering for Clarksburg. After that there will only be three weeks until CIM, so obviously I won't be running huge mileage weeks then either. With this tendon & calf stuff, I just don't know if it's going to happen. I may end up needing too many rest days to do it. We'll see.