Sunday, August 21, 2011

Week 7: Sat/Sun- I love you, Long Run!

For the first time in a long time, I can report that my long run was the best workout of the week!!! 

I’ve been treating my long runs like the middle-child of my training runs. OF COURSE, I love my long runs. However, I just haven’t been prioritizing them the way I should. I have been more than willing to toss them around, knowing I could be risking a sour workout. As a consequence, my long runs have been bitter and frustrating instead of fun and invigorating. My goal for the remaining weeks until Cbus and NYC will be to treat all of my workouts fairly. They all have purposes, and I shouldn’t sacrifice the quality of one to benefit the other. I love all of my workouts equally and need to remind myself of this!!! The truth is I have to work to maintain a HAPPY family of marathon training. Neglecting any component of this family is tampering with my 26.2 success, and there’s NO way I’m willing to do that!!

Friday was my rest day (also a part of the marathon training family) leading into my 16 mile long run on the Tow Path Saturday morning. My goal was to stick around a 8:00min/mi, willing to take +/- a few seconds. I was planning on meeting my friend, Jen, who is a recent Mommy of two and 110% dedicated to qualifying for Boston at Cbus this fall. Her motivation and dedication is amazing! Thanks to her, I was able to get out of bed although I had a POUNDING headache when the alarm went off at 6:15am. I’ve had issues with insomnia lately and I think that may be a contributor to the headaches I’ve been having…? 

We got started around 8:30am. At that time, both the temperature and humidity were relatively low. We stuck around an 8:00min/mi talking pace that felt good and in control to perhaps pick things up at some point in the second half. It was so much fun chatting and catching up! Once we hit about mile 6, I could feel the temperature and humidity increase. I felt a little dizzy and wished we were at least a bit closer to the halfway point. I wanted to run the final few miles at a quicker pace, but wasn’t sure that was going to happen with the increasingly yucky weather conditions. However, once I used some gel at mile 8 things started to pick up! We picked up the pace gradually and were hitting most of our miles on the second half close to 7:50. At mile 10, I was feeling awesome and enthusiastic about how great this workout was going. On my past few long runs, I was pleading for my car and Gatorade at this point. But yesterday, I was feeling like my old running self! I was just enjoying the experience! I could see we were definitely ahead of pace, but once we got to mile 14.5 I decided it was time to kick into gear for a strong finish. I always make it my goal to have a strong finish in all of my workouts (with the exception of tempos since that includes a cool down to the finish). I ran around a 6:50-7:00 mile until mile 16. I clocked in at 2:05:47, averaging a 7:52 min/mi. 

Upon finishing, I did some stretching and then headed to the pool for some more stretching.  My muscles were tender and sore, but that’s just a component of the long run experience! Overall, I felt good and was feeling very confident with this amazing workout!

I think the best word to describe this week is tumultuous. However, with all of the challenges I faced, I always made sure to keep my head up. There will always be curve balls thrown at you, and you just have to make sure your prepared if you want to stay in the game! I ran 38.43 miles this week, bringing me to a grand total of 221.66 miles over the past 7 weeks.

My Week 8 NYC Marathon Training Agenda (based off of Hal Higdon’s Advanced-2 Marathon Training Plan):
Monday: 40 minute tempo
Tuesday: 4 miles easy
Wednesday: 3 mile pace
Thursday: 8 miles easy
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 17 miles
Sunday: 40 minute cross-training

11 WEEKS UNTIL I’M RUNNING (****ehHhHM dancing eHhHhm****) IN DA BRONX!!! :-D

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