First thing in the morning upon waking up, especially the day after a significant workout, I take stock of what hurts, or what part of my body is sore. Quads, hammies, hips, ankles, achilles…check, check, check. Oh good, nothing hurts. That means I may proceed to the next level. I passed! Hurray!
My plan for Thursday was an easy, slow three, where I would run the first 1.5 miles of the SLO marathon course as an out and back. However, I got an invite from some of my old training budds Kristi, Anne & Merilee. I haven’t hooked up with them in a while since I’ve been focused so much on my training. With our different work schedules, it’s been a challenge to sync our workouts. I thought their company might be good for the soul. There was only one hitch. Their plan was to run hill repeats on Lizzie Hill! It is easier to run hill repeats when you can share the agony together with your friends. Plus, when there's other people around, you tend to push yourself just a wee bit more. I was hooked. So I went along, but not before I put in my recovery run. I ran a slow 10:39 pace because I knew the hill repeats were coming—save some for lata'. Yes, I know this was not on the schedule, but I was careful about it. After my recovery run, I met them while they were already at it. They’ve completed two sets and I joined them for their third set.
Lizzie Hill is between 5-6% grade, which took me one minute and half to crest. It is less steeper and shorter than my usual hill at home (7%-8% grade and two minutes long to crest), so it was much easier to hit a faster pace. My average was 8:06 pace for each of the two sets. I stopped when I reached 0.12mi (close to 200 meters or ½ a lap) or 1:00 minute—that's as far as I wanted to push it. I didn’t want to risk injury—I do have a race on Sunday—more on that later. The last repeat I cruised the full length of the hill at an 11:13 pace concentrating on even efforts, smaller strides and higher knees. I was glad I joined my friends and had a chance to catch up. It turned out a good workout. I put it my recovery run as well as squeeze three short hill repeats without compromising future workouts.
About the race I mentioned—I’ve decided that I will do the Central Coast Cancer Challenge2011 (http://centralcoastcancerchallenge.com/). It’s for a good cause. It’s also a time to remember and honor those close to us who have been affected by this formidable disease. I think about my Hubby’s grandfather who passed away from prostrate cancer in August 2007. I will be honoring him as I run up that incredible mountain.
I said earlier that I was not going to run this race, but the more I thought about it, the more it made good sense. It would have fit better in my schedule had it been on a Saturday, as I've mistakenly assumed all along.
It was my fault, when I first signed up, I should have verified the date. On Thursday night just before going to bed, on a whim I thought I check the race start time. It was then that I realized the race was on Sunday! What?!? My hair stood out like I was electrocuted and my eyes bugged out. Can you say freak out? Needless to say, this threw a wrench on my running schedule. How was I going to fit the 10K race, the Saturday run, the one day of rest and finally the 14-mile long run in a span of 3 days? Had I found out even just a day earlier, that would have given me Thursday to play with. I would have had one more day to fit into this puzzle. But this kept me up and I couldn't sleep. My heart rate was elevated. I tossed and turned until about 2a.m., but not before I watched another episode of Cheers. I am definitely not as happy go lucky about this program as my attitude was on previous programs. A year ago, had I missed a workout due to a race, I would have been, so what? I'm taking this more seriously. Uh-oh could it be that I'm turning into a serious runner?!?
There's nothing I could do, but do the best I can, to fit it all in. Here's the wonderful plan:
Early morning Friday: run the 7 miler originally set for Saturday. That would allow me to recover the rest of Friday thru Sunday before the race. That means being able to rest for 48 hours. That's plenty of rest and its better to be well rested than be over-trained going into a race. On Sunday, after a one mile warm up and the 10K, I would have 7 miles under my belt. I would still need to do 7 miles to complete the 14 miles required for the long run. I can do either of two things: Loop back and run the 10K course one more time or run the 5K course twice more. Either way, I will be short one mile. I won't fret over the shortage because the level of difficulty will make up for it. Depending on how I feel after the 10K, that's when I'll decide which course to take. Completing a training run after you've already raced is both physically and mentally draining. I've done it twice before and each time I vowed never to do it again, yet here I am. I have no idea how this one will be like since the course is quad-burning difficult. It will definitely slow my pace down for the tacked-on-miles afterwards and simulate running on tired legs as in the marathon.
I’m going in with no lofty pace goals. I’ll do the best I can to hold a steady pace. One thing on my side is that I’ve run part of this course as my lunch routine during my downtime, pre-marathon training. I know what to expect somewhat. The plus: the course reverses my usual route, which to me, will seem easier. What might be the stickler however, is the flat 5K start. I will have to consciously work on holding back and save some for when the course gradually winds up to the open reserve and then the trail wraps around the mountain. Gosh, it's tiring me out just writin' about it.
I hope my plan goes well. Planning disaster averted...I am no longer freaking out. 'Will let you know how Sunday goes.