Sunday, January 29, 2012

Napa Valley Marathon Training Week #6

Week #6 Schedule
Monday Rest Power
Tuesday 6 5.93 miles
Wednesday 7xhill 6xhill
Thursday 5 5.93 miles
Friday Rest
Saturday 10 pace
Sunday 20 miles

Week's Mileage: 48 miles
% Change from Previous Week: 61%

Week #6 shaped up to be one of the turning points of my training for Napa. I had a great week, I can feel something good is happening. My speed is coming along and my lactate threshold is increasing. Most importantly, the point where I can push that uncomfortable feeling aside for just a few seconds more has definitely increased. I hope I can keep this momentum going.

Monday was Power, my cross-training, and I know it is definitely helping my running.

Tuesday was an early morning run through Baywood and various Los Osos neighborhood for 5.93 miles at 54:40 at 09:03 pace with the Running Divas. I was able to stay with them longer this time.  I didn't fade until past mile 4! This is progress indeed.

Wednesday evening was reserved for my 6xhill repeats.
I was supposed to do 7 repeats but, the cars' headlights got to me near the end, as it got darker.  It was even more blinding since I was trying to get uphill and cars were coming from the opposite direction.  My average pace for each of the repeats was 8:05/min/mile.  This was a 10 seconds of improvement per repeat over Week #16 when I trained for the NYC marathon.  After the 6th repeat, I thought my legs were shot.  I felt them get heavy and I knew that the run home would be slow.  Funny thing happened.  As the lactic acid flushed out, I regained some kind of speed.  I was surprised to hit an 8:35 pace for my "supposed" cool down.

Overall: 1:04:27 / 5.93 mi / 10:53 pace
Time: 1:39/1:35/1:36/1:38/1:40/1:39
Pace: 7:50/7:55/8:00/8:10/8:20/8:15 (average hill pace 8:05)
4:20 recovery walks; downhill 21:40 pace
W/U: 1.97 mi @ 9:08 pace
C/D: 1.75 mi @ 8:35 pace

I had another surprised performance on Thursday when I ran Cal Poly . I ran with my buddies, Liz and Ingrid at lunchtime. I was not expecting to run a tempo pace today, but a recovery run.  However, the legs felt great even after the hill repeats from the night before.  I took advantage of that to see how far I could push the pace.  We went up Cal Poly through the campus in 27:36 for 3.00 mi @ 9:12 pace. Then we turned around back to the gym in  22:29 for 2.72 mi @ 8:16 pace.  Our cool-down was only two minutes for 0.21 mile @ 9:24 pace. The overall distance for this lunchtime run was 5.93 miles in 52:05 at 08:46 pace.   

Friday was my scheduled rest day.  I anticipated some soreness for having run three straight days of quality workouts. The legs felt great. This was a definite sign that my body is adapting to the training. I feel like I could run today if I wanted, but I had to be smart and remember that I do have a tough 10 mile pace run the next and a 20 miler on Sunday.

For the pace run on Saturday I  ran LOVR for 10.01 miles.  I was worried somewhat because I haven't hit my pace runs yet this training cycle.  It seems that every workout this week has been lining up nicely. So today's effort in 1:31 and at 09:07 pace was no different.  I even completed it with a negative split: the first five miles was at 9:25 pace and the next five was 8:51 pace.  I did some poor planning though.  I thought I wouldn't need a gel since this was just a 10 miler. However, at mile 6, I felt the effects of almost bonking. I also didn't bring enough hydration and underestimated the heat. I only had 2 water flasks that holds 8 ounces of Gu Brew. It was only 56 degrees, but it felt a little too warm. At any rate, I could not complain with my effort of 9:08 pace.

Must have coffee!
Oh Sunday, bloody Sunday! I knew I would be out for at least 3 hours and I anticipated the heat might get to me. So I made sure I was up by 6:15 and be out the door by 7:30ish.  Before I could get the coffee started, at 6:30, there was a power outage.  No toast, no oatmeal, no coffee! Yikes, a recipe for bonking! I was so desperate for coffee that even if there was old coffee from the pot last night, I would have drank it cold. I was that crazed!

Do you feel me? This was how crazed I was.
I ate a banana and some Juice Plus Mix that my friend Irma sent me to try.   I had a PB on a heal of a bread, packed 4 Gus and I was good to go. I prayed that the 65% charge on my Garmin will be enough for the distance today.

It was a gorgeous morning in the mid 40's at the start of my run the climbed to  upper 50's degrees by the end.  I started at a conservative pace knowing that I have a long way to go. I started in the 10's and by mile 4, I noticed my pacing dropped to 9:55.  I had a few climbs up and down Turri and my pacing yo-yoed between 9:55s to 10:04s.  The climbs were beginning to get comfortable.  I used to have to take a deep breath at the bottom of the hill as the ascent began.  Today I was not even paying no mind to the grade.  At one point I even thought, "Wow,  I crested already." The middle became a blurr.  I am so grateful to whatever minuscule progress I am making.

After one loop of Turri Road and at mile 13, my ipod lost its charge completely.  I thought okay, I can do 7 more miles in silence. I wasn't really listening to it anyway. Then at mile 14, my Garmin alert came on and said, "low battery".  Son of a b-t-h! What else is going to go wrong today? I haven't had coffee yet either! Instead of taking a second loop back to Turri, my imagination got the best of me. I thought of all the things that could go wrong while so far away from the house, that was when I decided to do the rest of mileage closer to home. I ran around my daughter's old elementary school nine times to complete the 20 miles.  The looping like that was mentally challenging. It makes you tough and I was glad I did it.  However, the Garmin died with only 0.35 miles left to finish the run. Using the clock on my phone, I added a few more minutes to complete 20. But alas! I was still short by 0.13 miles.  All in all, today's work was 19.87 miles at 9:47 pace, decaffeinated and unplugged for the latter tougher part of the day.  I handled it well I thought.  
First half pace was 10:02 and the second half was done at 9:32 pace.  That's a negative split.
Happy Trails!

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