One thing I love about training for endurance races is that you literally cannot do it like this.
(EDIT: My friend E just pointed out that no, actually, you absolutely, 100% can. IF you want to pass out and/or vomit on yourself and/or possibly die.)
I think I mentioned that prior to the Passion of the Oakland Half, I did run a speed workout that actually made me feel kind of halfway good about things, which is significant because I think that might have been the first time that's happened this year. On paper, it looked like kind of a beast: 2 x 1600m @ 10K pace/1:30 jog, 30:00 marathon effort, then another 2 x 1600m @ 10K pace/1:30 jog. (Fun fact: These types of workouts actually show up in my schedule labeled, "Big Workout!!" which I find kind of hilarious.)
Up until then all my speed workouts had been in the 6.5-8.5 range, which makes sense as only recently did I reach the point in the post-injury comeback ramp where I started adding faster running back in at all. With a warm-up & cool down, this one totaled 11.5 miles, which felt like a BIG jump up in terms of mileage in one speed workout. And that's even without considering the fact that I'd just run 20 miles two days before and was definitely not 100% recovered. But, my rule is to try to do all workouts before looking for excuses to cut them short.
And, it wasn't that bad! I mean, it was hard. But the first two mile repeats in 7:15-7:20? Completely doable (which is a relief as mile repeats at 10K pace have been miserable for me lately). I ran the 30 minutes at ~8:30ish, which felt like about the right level of effort. The last two hard miles were significantly harder than the first two and I did have to run pretty much all-out on the last one to make the pace, but I did it.
(The cool down, though...oy. I felt completely braindead and my legs were like lead. It didn't help that it was hot & all my sweat was aggravating some really bad chafing I had leftover from Sunday's 20 in the rain. I actually had to take my shirt off because some spots on my torso hurt so bad, and a spot on my thigh ended up so raw that it was bleeding by the end of the workout. So, that sucked.)
Anyway, that was the highlight of week 11 (other than, y'know, crashing & burning at Oakland).
- * 34 miles (12.9 easy, 8 speed/tempo, 13.1 race)
* 20:00 stretch & roll (ugh, I am really failing at this)
Monday 3/14: Rest
Tuesday 3/15: 2 warm up, 2 x (1600m @ 7:18 / 1:30 jog), 30:00 @ marathon effort, 2 x (1600m @ 7:18 / 1:30 jog), 1.5 cool down = 11.5 total.
Wednesday 3/16: Rest
Thursday 3/17: 8 easy. Oh. My. GOD, this was the hardest easy run I can ever, EVER remember not just giving up on completely after a mile or two. I was so, so tired and my legs and feet felt like they'd been hit by a train. I assume that was the 20 mile long run + 11.5 mile speed workout two days later. (This was when I first started getting worried about Oakland.)
Friday 3/18: Rest.
2 mile shakeout Rest. Legs felt like absolute garbage. Just BARTing to the expo & back was exhausting. Definitely not reassuring. (I dunno, maybe an easy two miles would have helped, but I doubt it.)
Sunday 3/20: 1.4 easy + 13.1 race.
This last week has been all about recovery, and MAN, have I needed it. I was traveling for work Monday through Thursday, which actually worked out well because the trip coinciding with post-race rest days meant I didn't have to worry about figuring out where to run and shoe-horning it into my work schedule. On the other hand, even these short, easy recovery runs have felt REALLY tough, which I'm taking as more evidence that yes, I really did leave it all out there at Oakland (under the circumstances). No strength work but I'm planning to start up again this coming week with Phase 2 of "The New Rules of Lifting for Women."
- * 22 miles, all easy
* I did not stretch & roll this week, not even once. The reason is because my muscles have actually felt really good and loose, even post-race, and it's usually stiffness/tightness/etc. that reminds me "Right, I need to stretch and roll." But I'm pretty sure the reason I've been feeling good in that department is the fact that for a while there I was being pretty consistent about it, so I really, really do need to get back to it before disaster strikes.
Monday 3/21: Rest/travel/work
Tuesday 3/22: Rest/work
Wednesday 3/23: Rest/work
Thursday 3/24: 7 easy/fly home. We had a late start on Thursday, so I got up at the regular time & ran 7 miles on the treadmill. As terrible as Oakland felt, this first easy run wasn't too bad (though I did take several quick breaks since treadmill running sucks).
Friday 3/25: 7.5 easy. The recovery continues. This run was significantly tougher than Thursday's--legs felt heavy and sluggish, and I was so generally tired and wiped out overall that I felt like you probaby could have knocked me over with a feather.
Saturday 3/26: Rest.
Sunday 3/27: 7.5 easy. The first half of this run felt a lot like Friday, ie, awful. My legs still felt heavy and sluggish, my lungs felt like they were working extra hard to take in enough air in spite of my shambling gait, and it was VERY windy so I ran the first 3.75 miles into a 15-20mph headwind. But the second half felt better (sure the tail wind helped with that) and I was surprised at my average pace for the whole run.
Next week: Back to speed work, NROLFW Phase 2, and another 20 miler!