I finished Athens in 2:03:46, which is a PR, but it's way off my sub-2 goal. I was on pace through mile 8 or so, but then I just couldn't do it. I'm not even sure what happened. Aaron and I were running together, and I know he was struggling too. At the turnaround, we lost these two women we were running with. One was doing the full marathon, and I'm not sure what happened to the other.
I am totally failing with this blogging thing, but that's okay. I restarted it more in anticipation of marathon training, and since that hasn't started yet, I'm okay.
So Athens is Sunday. Earlier this winter, it became clear, I thought, that a sub-2 wasn't possible. Now, I go back and forth. I don't really feel that confident since I haven't run that fast very much. I can't imagine that a 9:09 pace for 13+ miles is realistic.
HOWEVER. I should be in shape to PR this race. My PR is 2:07:something, and I should be able to come in under 2:05.
But I'm going to try for the sub-2. I have no idea how I'm going to start out that fast and then hold on, but if I don't try, then I'll never know.
What's the worst thing that will happen? I crash and burn? Oh well - what's that really going to mean? I'll feel bad about myself, but I'll get over it.
I cut the mileage last week and this week. I'm at 19 miles right now:
Monday: 4 easy in the rain w/ the HM group
Tuesday: 5 (1 easy, 1 "fast" at 7:54, 1 easy, 2 w/ 5k group)
Wednesday: 5 easy w/ the HM group
Thursday: 5 quickly (but still slower than sub-2 pace) w/ CP
Saturday will be 3 easy with the 5k group, and Sunday is THE RACE. Wish me luck!
Also, note that I skipped pilates on Tuesday. After Sunday's 5-mile trail run, I came home and was immediately sick with a cold and/or allergies. Monday, I felt iffy, but still did the group run in the rain. Tuesday morning, I woke up super-early, sweating, so I skipped pilates and slept for another hour or so. I felt much better after that, and I now think I'm healthy.
Anyhow, I"m just prepping myself for the race - resting, eating carbs and hydrating. Hopefully I'll report back with good news.
Last week was my highest-mileage week ever. Yes, I said that last week. At 41.25 miles, that's pretty killer.
Last month was my highest-mileage month EVER. Big time ever as in 169.21 miles. And six other workouts (four pilates, two strength). A winning month, I must say, even if it wasn't particularly speedy. (Oh and only three complete rest days; two of them were last week.)
That's my downfall - running a lot, but the speed workouts are not quite as plentiful.
Tuesday: pilates + 6 miles + 3 miles + 1.42 miles
Wednesday: 5.57 miles (inc hill)
Friday: 4.75 miles easy
Saturday: 6.18 miles easy
Sunday: 13.1 miles
I'm starting a two-week taper because March was so full of the running. Roughly 30 miles this week and 20 miles next week. I don't have a clear plan, but something like that.
Maybe I should have a plan.
Monday: 4 miles easy
Tuesday pilates + 3 miles easy + NoBo (not sure if anything will be done here)
Wednesday: 5 miles easy
Thursday: rest or 5-mile tempo run + strength
Friday: rest or 5-mile tempo run + strength
Saturday: 7-8 miles easy
Sunday: 4-5 miles easy + strength
Plus lots and lots of stretching and foam-rolling. I need these leggies to recover. Athens is soon!
Up and early this morning for pilates (I should really try not to be so tense), so I thought I'd do a speed workout afterward. I programmed my watch last night and planned to do three mile-repeats under 8:45 pace. That didn't work.
I was tired, and I was cold.
After 1 mile, I was still cold, but I started on the first mile repeat anyway. It clocked in around 8:50.
My 3-minute rest didn't appear (clearly I screwed up something when I programmed my watch) so the watch was yelling at me to speed up when I was trying to recover.
I gave up on the workout and figured I was tired and covering 6 miles is better than nothing.
So I ended up with 6.23 miles at a 9:57 pace, which is fine. It isn't the workout planned. I'll try again Thursday night, I think. Tonight is our 5k group's halfway celebration and tomorrow is a hill run for the half-marathon group.
I'm trying not to think about how I couldn't hold pace this morning. I know I'm tired, and I was underfueled for the workout too. I know this. It'll be fine.
(Failed workouts really frighten me when I think about marathon training. I was talking to my boss who is going to help me with my marathon plan, and one of the workouts kind of scared me. And multiple 20-milers scared me too, but I think mentally I need to cover that distance more than once. Yes, the ultimate goal is just to finish my first marathon, but I really don't want to run for 5 hours.)
Another week, almost another 38 miles. Training is going okay (at 124 miles for March!). Some of my runs are actually purposeful! I am feeling confident that I can PR in Athens next month, although sub-2 still seems a bit out of reach. We'll see.
Monday: 2-mile treadmill walk (after Sunday's 15k, I needed a break) Tuesday: pilates + 3 miles easy with CP, 1.5-mile run with No Boundaries 5k group Wednesday: 4.5-mile run (pub run!) with 3 miles around 9, the rest going out to pick up people from the half-marathon group Thursday: 5 miles easy with Aaron and Katy Friday: solo strength session + 4.5 miles easy on the treadmill at the gym Saturday: 7+ miles with NoBo and the HM group Sunday: 10 miles with the last 3 at race pace (all 3 under 8:50 so a little faster than race pace actually)
Let's talk a bit about this morning's run. A coworker and sincerely good runner told CP that she should do her long run with 7 miles easy and 3 at goal pace. So I figured I'd do it too. Last night, I probably drank too much (I won't list it out, but just
know I should have had one fewer beer) so I wasn't feeling too
confident, particularly about dropping the pace for the last 3 miles. We met this morning at the Towpath in Peninsula. A couple of people were only in it for a short run, so it was just me, CP and Aaron for the second half of the run. So we ran south 2.5 miles and back and then north for 2.5 and back.
Aaron and CP were a bit ahead of me on the second half, but they stopped to regroup before doing the 3 fast miles. I just picked up the pace, and it wasn't easy. But also, not debilitating. I clocked in at 8:50, 8:47 and 8:49, I think, so I'm happy with that. Whether I can do it for 13.1 miles is a whole 'nother story.
I figure this upcoming week will be similar. Obviously Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are group runs where it's hard to plan. Tuesday mornings, actually, are easy to plan - pilates at 6:30 a.m. followed by a short, easy run. I'm hoping to do 13 next Sunday, and I'll probably do another run where I finish faster. I think that's good practice. And then I'll probably back off the mileage a bit to taper for Athens. I'm hoping well-rested legs will help me do well. God knows, they're tired right now.
Yesterday, I did the unthinkable: I signed up for a marathon, specifically the Niagara Falls International Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 26. I just might restart this blog to document that whole debacle.
I am attempting to recruit others, and one person has actually signed up for the full. There is also a half-marathon so I am hoping a large contingent from Northeast Ohio will join me. I even booked my room for Saturday night. The other person who signed up has a place somewhat nearby, and we will spend time before and after the race there. That part should be fun, at least.
Obviously I have plenty of time before real training starts, so I will consider myself in base-building until the beginning of July, I guess. (And by "base-building," I kind of mean just keeping up with what I've been doing.) That will give me a 16-week training plan for the marathon.
In other news, Athens Half-Marathon is very soon (3ish weeks), and I am somewhat confident I can PR. A sub-2 doesn't seem extremely likely, but I think I'm going to go for it. I did a hilly 15k last weekend (9.3 miles), and it was at PR pace. I haven't been following a specific plan, but I have been running a decent amount. We'll see.
I read the book fairly quickly, which is amazing as of late, and I'm still gathering my thoughts. My first thought is that I want to study Cordovites and I want to see the films. The most fascinating character is the one we know the least about.
It took me a few times to read this book, and I'm not sure why. I ended up flying through the book, although I still find myself slightly disappointed, like I didn't get the full story. So many good stories contained within, just fleshed out enough to get my interest before moving on.
This book is almost indescribable - I hardly got to know anyone, yet I liked how characters and time were interwoven throughout. The "dreaded" PowerPoint section was actually interesting to me (oh, how Corporate America has prepared me for such things).
I want to give the book 3.5 stars, but I figure since I can't, I should round up, especially considering that I read it in just a few days (unheard of for me lately).
Let's pretend that I post ALL THE TIME, so here's my workout roundup.
Monday: Run 4 miles with 3 mile-repeats (8:42, 8:29, 8:19)
Tuesday: Run 3 miles + strength (THE GYM!)
Wednesday: Run 3 miles
Friday: Run 3 miles
Sunday: Cleveland RnR Half-Marathon
26+ miles for the week plus one strength session. So just fine...
Yesterday was my ninth half-marathon, and I actually managed to PR it despite less-than-stellar training over the summer. I ran with one of the girls from the group, and I probably slowed her down! Or can I pretend that I held her back so she could finish strong? Anyhow, I'm pretty pleased. It wasn't an easy course, and a lot of people had bad days out there.
Erin and I after the race.
(I actually beat Aaron, which is unheard of and will likely never happen again!)
It looked like it was going to be a truly awful day, and the weather ended up okay. It was humid and warm, but it wasn't raining like originally expected. I tried not to complain, and I was relatively successful with that. It was also hillier than I expected, although I don't know what I expected since I didn't really look at the course! It was fine, I pushed through.
And friends, do the hill training.
This was my second Rock 'n' Roll event (I did the DC half in 2012). The course was well-supported, the expo was fine (smaller than the Rite Aid Cleveland race), and the course was okay, but these are expensive races. You were ushered through the post-race snacks rather quickly and you couldn't go back - I ended up with just a bottle of Gatorade.
The course seemed too similar to the Rite Aid course, although there were more hills. I didn't find it as hilly as other people did, but it wasn't easy. My legs are tired today, and my hips are tight and sore. I actually had trouble putting my foot on my knee so I could stretch my IT band. And I'm still not sure I can touch my toes for longer than 5 seconds.