Sunday, October 2, 2011

NYC Marathon Training Week #13: Sat & Sun

Saturday Pace Run

What I consider the toughest workout for this week in my training is the pace run. With the exception of week #10's, 9-mile pace run, I've missed hitting them all. I've either ran them too fast or too slow. Today was a pleasant surprise, I hit it right on. To top it all off, I even hit a negative split running the second half 34 seconds faster per mile than the first half.

34 secs faster in the 2nd half:
1st 5.1 was 9:26
2nd 5.1 was 8:52

This means that I am gaining strength and that the Higdon plan is definitely working. I am adapting to the stress. My initial fear in the beginning was recovering in time before the next quality workout. For instance, with the hill work on Wednesday, there was a little bit of trepidation going into the pace run. I thought my legs would be too sore where I would need an extra day off. But Thursday morning came and I was fine. I even threw in an extra mile in the workout. Instead of five, I ran six miles--at marathon pace!  So far so good.

Sunday Going Long
Pt. Buchon Trail at Montana de Oro

What magnificent views!

The whole run I was treated to serenity

Who woudn't want to run this trail?

There's at least 5 overlooks along the trail

This will be my course for my long runs

I wanted to mix it up for the 20 milers. I wanted a different route. Last year, for all the 20+ long runs, I ran all four using the same route. It was good in a way, because I could compare my efforts from one week over the next. This time, I want my legs to feel different grades, pitches and textures. Comparison will be difficult. However the advantage is exposure to different terrains. In my first 20 miler, it was done at night and on the roads of Los Osos. For the second 20 miler, today I ran on a hilly trail. It was a mixed bag of gravel, sand, rocks, bunch of squirrel holes. Undulating hills was tiring after a while, my ankles got worked pretty well. I am expecting they will be sore tomorrow.  But I know there's a huge benefit to running trails, it will make me stronger for the Marathon. Another reason I decided to choose trails is that it forces me to run slower like I am suppose to. For my last 20 miler in  two weeks, I will go back to the roads, but a lot more hillier than LOVR. Also, that's when I will incorporate my goal pace run in the last 4 miles. I will be running this 20 while an actual marathon is going on. I will have to work hard on holding back and understand that I won't be racing--just out for a training run along with other marathoners. I will not be tempted, I will not be tempted.

The motivation behind running a training run with the Paso Harvest Marathon, is because the course is hilly and like Hal said to me, "Why should Higdon-trained runners fear hills?" I'm facing it head on. I remember last year in NY, between miles 23 and 24 is when I really slowed down, then picked it up back on the last mile in Central Park. I was pretty proud of that performance and that does not even come close to the kind of effort I currently put in for hills this time. I'm a notch or two above. So hills have become my friend this training cycle, I guess you can say.

Today's run went well, with the exception of my fumbling with my Garmin. I forgot to hit restart after a photo op with the great picture of the Pacific Ocean on my rave run.  I missed some mileage and went unrecorded. For the purposes of my data gathering I have to count it at 19 miles instead of 20. Fifteen of those miles were on dirt at 10:27 pace. The rest were warm up and cool down at 12:10 pace. Overall, the pace was 10:47 for 19 miles. Success!

Week #13 is now done with 52 miles under my belt. I have one more long run to complete in two weeks. Then hello taper--that's my great freak out period.  I am looking forward to the cut back in Week #14. In a nutshell, it looks like this with approximately 36 miles.

Mon - rest
Tues - 6
Wed - 45 min. tempo
Thurs - 5
Fri - rest
Sat - 6
Sun - 12

I hope your training is going well...Happy Running!

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