Saturday, October 15, 2011

NYC Marathon Training Week #15: Tues-Sat

The Week in Review--Well Almost

This week has been one hell of a week!  Tuesday evening rolled around and all I could think about was my toothache.  I've had a crown put in 2 1/2 years ago. It has bothered me on and off.  It would hurt for a few days then would go away. Months would pass with no activity. Then it would come up again only to go away sooner than I could mention it to my dentist.  So every time the dull ache would come on, I would ignore it, thinking it would go away, just like the many other times that it did.  This Tuesday was the first night I had to take Advil to keep the pain at bay. This time however, the ache was much more intense and worst, it interfered with my eating. Totally bad, when you're in training.  The next day, I called my dentist and the soonest he could get me in was Friday. Great! Two more days of living on Advil. Such as life. What are you gonna do? I continue on with my training, wishing it was Friday already!

Monday: Rest 5.29 @ 9:41 (neg (neg split: 9:50 & 9:29)
Tuesday: 10 5.4 mi @ 9:21 pace (neg split: 9:37 & 9:04)
Wednesday: 8x800 Yasso (8.35 mi) 3:50 avg pace per Yasso
Thursday: 5 6 mi @ 9:21 (neg split: 9:31 & 9:13)
Friday: Rest 6.66 mi including TT of 7:37+ 4 mi hike up MDO
Saturday: 10 pace @ 9:01 (neg split: 9:13 & 8:48)
Sunday: 20 mi easy (Paso Harvest Marathon) LOVR or Turri Road 2 loops

Here I am almost done with Week #15.  The only thing left to complete is the long run tomorrow, Sunday.

As you can tell from my schedule, I've made a few changes.  Monday was a holiday so I had the pleasure of staying home and being tempted to run.  I was still sore from the previous day's long run which ended up being a pace run, but I gave into it.  Honestly I could have used one day of complete rest.  But then again, the marathon is all about  pushing yourself even when you're not 100% recovered. I tried to run Monday as a recovery day holding the pace just a tad slower.  I felt compelled to do a negative split so I ran the second half faster.  It was a humid kind of day especially when I got out at about noon time. All in all it as a good day.

On Tuesday, I ran with my friend Mora at 6 in the morning and ran our usual Baywood route. Legs were okay but still felt some lingering fatigue. Pace was a little faster than Monday which shows signs of improvement. With this run, we also ran it with a negative split and shaved off 33 seconds from the first half.  Another good day!

Wednesday was incredibly hot!  It was 93 degrees at 4:48 p.m. when I stepped onto the track. I almost nixed this workout because I knew I wasn't going to achieve good splits. Such a pessimist I am! I better start changing my attitude soon!  The Yassos turned out to be 3:50 average for the 8 sets. This was identical to 6 weeks ago on Week #11 when I performed 6 of them. The difference was that the effort felt easier this time even though it was hot.  Not only that, I even had two more than last time. Here are my splits:

3:53/ 3:50/ 3:40/ 3:50/ 3:50/ 4:00/ 3:59/ 3:41

I felt that I was getting the hang of the pacing and it didn't seem like I was all over the place.  However I can explain what happened to the 6th and the 7th Yassos.  I was the last one on the track.  I was worried, the distance club members were done with their workout and were packing to leave while I had 3 more to do and it was getting dark.  My focus drifted to should I cut it short and go or just try to finish all 8 sets?  I picked up pace on the very last one.

Thursday was a great day for recovery.  Ran 6 miles at 9:21 pace.  I ran it again with a negative split, bettering the second half by 18 seconds. This run surprised me a little. I was expecting that my body would take more time to recover since the heat run yesterday showed up its ugly head. It wasn't so.  I am so glad that I am recovering just in time for the next workouts and not having to skip due to fatigue. I am knocking on wood.

Friday was supposed to be a rest day, but I needed to squeeze in a time trial somehow.  This was my only window.  I've already postponed it last week. I knew it as going to be another scorcher at lunch so the track was not going to be an option. I had to run it in the coolness of Los Osos first thing in the morning. It is a lot harder to do one mile time trial when you first roll out of bed. The body is not primed for speed work. I had to do my best. I ran a warm up and since there is no track nearby, I chose to run the mile on a real road with two hills. I am pretty proud to run a 7:37 pace first thing in the morning and on a road instead of a track, which would have been faster.  Not complaining, just sayin'.

A second workout on Friday evening was hiking Montana de Oro's Valencia Peak at 1,347 feet. I took a friend to a shortcut which was straight two miles up and two miles down, not my usual route.  This way we avoided poison oak and other usual culprit. Thank God we did the shortcut as I found out later, she was highly allergic.  It was lovely sharing this beautiful place with someone who can appreciate the landscape.  She took many pictures, which explained our pace, not that I was worried about it or anything like that...

Saturday's 10 mile pace run was my best pace run in all training.  For one thing, I hit it with a negative split and I hit my pace as early as the 2nd mile, right after a couple of miles of warm up. This was a first. Prior to this, it would take more than halfway before I hit my pace and then I would catch it up. At first I was worried that the mountain hike yesterday tired my quads out. I felt them to be a little tight this morning upon waking up. Going into the pace run I was a little tentative. But after the warm up and the stretching, the legs loosened up a bit. I broke the 10 miler into quarters to see how my pacing went:

9:30 / 8:56 / 8:56 / 8:40

I started out conservatively and gradually increased the pace every 2.5 miles.  I'm pretty proud of myself for being able to keep it steady in the middle miles.  That's usually when my mind wanders off. This was my last pace run and I am glad that I saved the best for last. Yippee! 

Sunday is my last long run, that's tomorrow. I have decided that I will not run the Paso Robles Marathon Course as I originally planned.   We drove by the course today to study and see it first-hand.  The hills are unbelievably punishing and if the weather turned out anything like today, forgetaboutit. If it were any other time far away from my A race, I would love to run those hills--bring it on!  This time the smart runner in me is saying, why run it if it's going to take more out of me  and consequently have to nix other workouts? NY's course is not this hilly.  I mean there's the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and the never-ending Queensboro Bridge, the Fifth Ave (miles 22-23) back into Manhattan, and then or course the rolling hills of Central Park--but that's about it.  So why make it any harder? Instead, I will run my usual route here in Los Osos where the weather will be cooler and not crazy humid like the North County. I wouldn't have to wake up at ungodly hour to get there plus I would save on gas.  I can get home and sit in the tub with my ice bath in matter of minutes as opposed to sitting in a one-hour car ride back home with stiff legs. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Boy, after tomorrow, I can officially celebrate the taper period.

Happy Running!

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