The difference between Week 1 and 2 is pretty much night and day. Last week was miserable, and I was determined to not lose another week of training this week. Luckily, my antibiotics starting working (so the pain level went way down) AND I got my root canal done so I was feeling right as rain and ready to run.
Tuesday and Wednesday’s runs were pretty good. On Tuesday I got chased by turkeys, and on Wednesday I ran a killer tempo run that gave me a boatload of confidence and had me strutting around like a peacock.
I took Thursday and Friday off for my root canal. I’ve never had one before and wasn’t sure what to expect so I figured I would take it easy and not push it. <— Look at me being responsible and stuff!
By Saturday I was ready to go so I headed out for some hill work. 4.5 miles @ 11:13 pace.
Not going to lie, initially I was a little disappointed with this run – for some reason I felt like it should have been faster but looking at it now…it’s really not that bad. I think it may have been that I felt like I was going faster, so when I saw the time I was upset but… all in all I can’t really be unhappy with this. Here’s what the hills looked like:
Sunday Long Run – 7 miles @ 11:25 pace
Initially this run was supposed to be more like 9 miles, but since I didn’t run long last week I decided to tone it down a touch. There’s plenty of time before race day and I don’t need to force the miles this early.
I was also terrified of this run. I mapped out a new route that was supposed to mimic the climb at mile 11 of the NVHM and I knew that it was going to be tough. I’ve never run this particular road before and not only is it steep, but the traffic can be kind of bad and I didn’t want to get run over by some granny on her way to church.
This is the elevation profile of the NVHM course:
Here’s what my route this morning looked like:
I think looking at this is what had me so nervous. Seeing that 9% grade had me thinking that this was a stupid idea.
Regardless, I ate a good dinner the night before to fuel up:
I also ate breakfast this morning, which I normally don’t do for any run under 10 miles but I had a feeling I would need it. English Muffin with PB&J was a great choice. I never once felt tired, hungry, or lacking energy. Winning.
I started out slow – I have a tendency to try to run my long runs too fast, and I knew that I couldn’t afford to expend too much energy before hitting the climb.
I tried to slow mils 4 & 5 down, but since it was a long gradual downhill, it was tough. Obviously mile 6 is where it got really steep, but was pleased that I was able to recover after the climb and get myself back into the 11s for the last mile.
Overall, I’m really happy with this one. It was difficult, but I just kept telling myself “one foot in front of the other. Keep moving. Don’t stop till you’re at the top, etc”. I also didn’t bother to look at my watch once I started climbing – I knew that I was going to slow down and that there was no point in getting frustrated over it. The goal here was just to get to the top, so I was pretty happy with that 12:15 mile. I honestly pictured it being a lot worse. I debated doing one more mile to make it 8 for the day, and ultimately decided not to. I was feeling really good, but felt that 7 was plenty. Looking at it now, running 1 more mile would have given me 20 miles for the week; had I known that I definitely would have run that last mile. Oh well.
I was starving after this run, and knew this was the only way to refuel:
I’m really happy with how this week went. Next week my big goal is to get my two days of strength training is.- I have no idea why it is so hard for me to do this!
Hope you’re having a great weekend!