Sunday, October 2, 2011

NYC Marathon Training #12: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

Good run on Tuesday with my friend Mora. Morning runs always feel good after you’ve had a chance to wake up. The hard part is trying to get to bed early so that you are not tired when you wake up.  I dread looking at the clock in the middle of the night and seeing it is already 4 am. That means I only have 50 minutes left to snooze it.  And once I’ve closed my eyes and open it again, it seems only 5 minutes has passed! It’s not fair!  Don’t you hate that?
My Tuesday routine has been to run in the morning with a friend. She’s an early bird and it’s been nice to run with somebody at my pace.  I haven’t been running with the running divas as I haven’t synched my workout schedule with them.  They are elite runners so at times, I am a little intimidated. I can only hang for 3 miles and even then, I make sure it is my speed days that I run with them so that I can pace it correctly.  All of my Tuesday workout have to be a recovery runs or near easy pace.  This Tuesday I surprised myself at the end of the run, because without intending to run my goal pace of 9:09, we ended up running 9:08 for 6 miles.  My friend said that it was a little faster than normal, and without looking at my Garmin, I brushed her comment aside and said, it’s the same pace.  But I had to eat my words when my Garmin confirmed that we were 20 seconds per mile faster than our previous runs.  I had to finish off the run at lunch with a 4-miler in the 80 degree heat. I didn’t push it.  It was a leisurely run at 9:42 pace and even that was fast compared to my other recovery runs. Ten miles done today—oh how sweet it was!
Wednesday night was my hill work-out.  I was slightly worried that I may have pushed the Tuesday a.m. workout too hard and have to sacrifice a little bit for the hill work.  You know, like Paul robbing Peter?  Or is it Peter robbing Mary?
No track tonight as my hill is located near my house.  It was just as well because it was hot in San Luis.  20 minutes away heading toward the coastline the weather is dramatically cooler, mist and fog—just the way I like it.  I already carbo-loaded the previous night so I was ready to attack the hills.  As soon as I got home, I changed into my gear and headed out.  
All morning I was thinking about the 7 hill repeats I had to complete and now here it was facing me.
I measured a .20 of a mile long hill between 6-7 percent grade. It seems crazy from the distance, but once you are actually on it, it is not that bad—well, maybe the first two repeats.  My eyes bugged out when I saw my first two splits!
7:41/ 7:41/ 7:55/ 8:14 /8:35/ 8:51/ 8:12
I was surprised to see those 7’s.  Is it real? Did I really do that?  I felt like I was going to puke my lungs out. It was my chest that was hurting not  my quads. My thought was “So this is how it feels to run fast—like really fast.”  The next repeats I slowed down, but I really tried my best to run as hard as I could. It felt like I was a car running out of gas and not matter how hard I pressed on the pedal the car just barely moved.  Then I realized I should just try my best to pay attention to my form since I couldn’t duplicate the my first 2 efforts. It was just that—the rest of the way until the very last repeat. I thought I better give it all I got since it is the last one.   All I could putter was 8:12. I was happy that they were all under 9:00 pace. Looking at my previous hill attempts, even the short ones at 0.13 mile long, I was much faster tonight. In addition to the lovely hills, I ran both my warm ups and cool down with negative splits.  That’s icing on the cake—even though I am not a fan of cakes. I am loving the results. 
Thursday was another recovery run for 5 but I ended up with 6 miles.  I was too tired to wake up in the morning so I placed it at lunch.  Fortunately it was a much cooler day.  I ran to Cal Poly Canyon from the office. It was a 6 mile trip back and forth.  I finished it with a 9:24 pace with rolling hills. I am so stoked about my pace. I ran the first half at a relaxed pace and picked it up in the second half. It was another negative split effort.
Friday is a rest day! Yippee
There’s two more hard workouts left to do in Week #12: the 10-mile pace run on Saturday and the 20-miler long run on Sunday.  I am more nervous about the 10 since I have to hit my marathon pace of 9:09.  If you were following my training, I’ve missed hitting the pace in all but one pace run:  in Week #10 for 9 miles! In all the other weeks I was either running the pace runs too fast or too slow.  I am going to run relaxed tomorrow and work towards hitting that pace as gradually as I can and hope to maintain it all the way to 10 miles.  For my second 20-miler, I’ve asked my running partner, Heidi, to join me in the trails of Montana de Oro. It will be softer on the knees because it will all be on dirt! Yeah, we are gonna get dirrrty!
Happy Running!

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