A Simple Running Log

February 25, 2013

Training for 2/25/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:36 pm


I am so proud of this past week of training! It was the last high-mileage week before Shamrock, and I really needed it to go well after falling off the wagon a bit this month. After five good weekday runs, I had two big runs left over the weekend to finish off the week strong.

I did it just like Hal Higdon wanted it to go — 10-mile pace run Saturday and 20-mile long run Sunday on tired legs.

The weather was less than stellar for running this weekend, but it’s February, so, no big surprise. Saturday, it was raining off and on and a little on the breezy side, but not nearly as cold as it had been earlier in the week.

I put on a pair of capri tights, a light long-sleeved top, my rain running jacket, my Shamrock finisher’s hat with the brim and a light pair of gloves, and set off for a lap around my 10.5-mile loop.

This pace run didn’t fly by the way the shorter ones used to at the beginning of this training cycle, but I maintained what felt like a manageable pace and finished the loop in 1:23:32, a 7:57/mile average pace.

I think, based on the past several pace runs I’ve done, I’m going to stick to 8:00/mile for my goal pace at Shamrock, instead of dropping it to 7:50. That’ll get me in just under 3:30, which is the whole point. I’ll save 3:25 for another marathon.

I drank a glass of chocolate milk, did lots of stretching and ate plenty the rest of the day Saturday, including a big spinach salad and half a large pizza for dinner, to get ready for the next day’s long run. I haven’t forgotten the last couple of crappy miles of that 19-miler last month.

Saturday afternoon, I watched the Nationwide Series season opener at Daytona. That last lap wreck was crazy. I’ve never seen the entire front end of a car get sheared off, go through the catch fence and fly into the stands like that. A lot of people were injured, and there’s still one person in critical condition with head trauma caused by something that flew off that car, so I hope everyone gets through it and recovers.

Sunday morning, I woke up early, fed Pepper, ate my own breakfast and got on the road for 20 miles.

It was still warm enough for capri tights and just one long-sleeved top. It was supposed to be clear but windy. It wasn’t windy yet, which really made my day, but it wasn’t clear either. I figured the clouds were on their way out though.

Wrong! Not long after I started running, it started sprinkling. By the end of the first mile, I was running in a full-on downpour. I hadn’t worn a hat with a brim, so the rain was getting in my eyes, which I can’t stand.

I was starting to wonder how much of that I could put up with, and if this 20-miler was going to be a repeat of last week’s attempt. But then, by the third mile, it started to taper off, and by the time I’d finished four miles, it was done for good.

Once the rain let up, I was in a better mood. Around 7 miles, I ate a bag of Jelly Belly Sport Beans. When I got to Galestown, 10.15 miles into the run after some of the extra roads I’d run to add on mileage, I just turned around and decided to make it an out-and-back.

The sun had come out by this point, and the wind was starting to kick up, but the way it was blowing, I didn’t have to run head-on into it much for the second half of the run.

I was keeping the pace nice and easy. Last week, I’d looked online at the training plan I’m following, and reread what Hal wrote about why long runs should be slow:

“I know this is tough for you. You want to go out on those long runs and BLAST! Don’t! Normally I recommend that runners do their long runs anywhere from 30 to 90 or more seconds per mile slower than their marathon pace. This is very important, particularly for advanced runners who do speedwork during the week. Listen to what the Coach is about to tell you! The physiological benefits kick in around 90-120 minutes, no matter how fast you run. You’ll burn a few calories and trigger glycogen regenesis, teaching your muscles to conserve fuel. Running too fast defeats this purpose and may unnecessarily tear down your muscles, compromising not only your midweek workouts, but the following week’s long run. Save your fast running for the marathon itself. There are plenty of days during the rest of the week, when you can run fast. So simply do your long runs at a comfortable pace, one that allows you to converse with your training partners, at least during the beginning of the run.”

I’ve been consciously keeping the pace slower on my long and easy run days, and based on how well my speedwork went throughout training (when I did it, that is), I think it’s paid off so far. We will see in the marathon, of course.

I ate another bag of Sport Beans around 14 miles. Once I passed the ferry on the way back, I only had 4.5 miles to go, yet I felt like I’d barely started. Was this going to be the easiest 20-miler I’d ever run?

I really shouldn’t have acknowledged how good I felt, because soon enough, it came back to bite me. There’s a saying among runners — in a long run or race, whether you feel good or bad, don’t worry, because it will soon pass. It’s amazing how quickly you can go from feeling like you’re skimming along the pavement to feeling like every step is a struggle, and vice versa.

The last four miles of the run felt much, much harder than the first 16 had! But I kept up the pace, and wouldn’t let myself even entertain the thought of a walk break this close to the end. Around two miles to go, I had to really face the wind for the first time all day. Fortunately, it was only about a mile before I made one last turn for home and got out of the wind.

I polished off that last mile and finished 20.3 miles in 2:57:18, an 8:44/mile average pace. All in all, it was a great 20-miler.

I did a little stretching and took a shower, and then Clark and I went to Mike’s house to watch the Daytona 500. Danica Patrick made history again, becoming the first woman to lead a Sprint Cup race under green (and I didn’t have to feel guilty because I hadn’t wimped out on my long run, haha), and she finished eighth. Bobby had a decent run and avoided all the wrecks, and finished 15th. Unfortunately, Jimmie stupid Johnson had to ruin the whole day by going and winning the thing, but I guess it can’t all go my way.

This morning, Clark had to leave at 4 a.m. to get to the airport for a flight to Las Vegas. He’s taking a test tomorrow that, if he passes, will get his company a contractor license in Nevada. That, of course, left me home alone with Pepper.

I got up a little while later and fed Pepper, and then I got dressed for today’s easy 5-miler. (By the way, I couldn’t believe how not at all sore my legs felt this morning.) Pepper was anxiously watching me put on my running clothes, and I could see the wheels spinning in his head as he did the math — either he was going to have to run too, or he was going to have to stay home alone.

I got him into his jacket (it was a lot colder this morning than the last two) and harness, clipped on his leash and walked out to the road with him. I didn’t know if he was going to run or not, but, much to my delight, he just picked up a little stick off the side of the road and ran the entire 5.5-mile loop with me, without complaint!

It was so much fun to run with him this morning. I held him to a reasonable pace, and had a great time with him. And when we got home, he got a treat.

I decided to hold off on the strength training until this evening. I just did some stretching.

I’m feeling really good about Shamrock at this point. It’s less than three weeks away! All the super long runs and really long speed workouts are done. In fact, I only have one more double-digit run, a 12-miler next weekend.

February is almost over, NASCAR is back, Daylight Saving Time and spring are just around the corner and I’ve officially made it to the taper in one piece. It’s a good day.


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