Week 8 is over and we are officially halfway there (wooo-ah! Livin’ on a praaaaayer….no? Ok, then)!!! Holy crap! I try not to remind myself of that and to just focus on the week at hand but, I definitely started to get some butterflies and nerves when I realized it was week 8. I’m the type of person that does better when I break things down into smaller time frames, so I really try not to look to far ahead (unless it’s for scheduling/logistics purposes) otherwise I will start a major freak-out. This was another strong week, and required a little bit of tinkering to get the miles in but I am happy to report that they are all done! I had a Sunday day trip to my brother’s house planned, which meant I had to shift all of my runs/weights around to fit it all in. This resulted in me doing my NROLFW two days in a row (total no-no), but it was that or nothing AND doing my first running double. Since I don’t go “totes hard at the gym, yo” I figured this would be ok. We are also getting close to peak week(s) here, and I have an 18 miler coming up this weekend. Can’t. Wait.
Monday – Rest Day. Nothing hugely exciting….
Tuesday – Outside run!! 5 miles 58:00 (11:41 pace) . It was raining, but that was OK by me!! For one, it wasn’t snow!!! And two, I honestly love running in the rain. There is something so calming and peaceful about it. It was still a little chilly out, but IT WASN’T SNOW! My legs were still a little tired and heavy from the beating they took over the weekend (10 mile race/16 mile long run…Rocky Balboa style) so I was in no hurry to go fast.
Wednesday – Strength! I’m pretty sure I say this every week, but, I’m still not seeing the progress in the mirror and I know that’s all on me. Which is fine. The good stuff though, is that I’m seeing the progress in other ways. Each week I’m able to increase the weights I’m using, and even if it’s only 5 pounds it’s something; AND I was able to do 10 REAL pushups. That was a first for me. I’m not sure that my form on those was 100% perfect, but my trainer said it was so they count.
Thursday – Double up with my “speed” in the morning and weights in the afternoon. This was supposed to be a 5 mile progression run, but turned into a 4 mile regression run. This is one of those ones that felt tough from the get go. I was on the treadmill and had to stop about a mile in because my stomach just decided to wake up and join the party. I got started again and the pace just felt hard and I was only at a 5.3 speed. I had to slow it down and then finally walk which I haven’t done in forever. My basement is always nice and cool, but it felt HOT and that started to irritate me. I told myself just to forget about the pace, and just get the run done. I kept the speed at about 5.2 for a while then put it back up to 5.3 and just kept alternating those speeds until I was done. Between the bathroom break and walk break, I wasted a good bit of time and I had to stop at 4 miles or risk being late for work. 4.25 miles 49:00 (11:29 pace) Weights in the PM!
I knocked out the 4 miles and was surprised when I saw that my pace was still in the 11:30s. To be honest, I was just worried about surviving this so to see that I was still holding a somewhat decent pace was icing on the cake! AM 5 miles 56:55 (11:09 pace)/PM 4 miles 46:24 (11:35 pace).
Saturday – I moved my long run up and Jennifer was awesome enough to meet me out at North Park for the second half of my 14 miler. The plan was that I would run 7, then meet Jen and we would do 5 miles at race pace with a mile warm up and cool down. I took the first 7 nice and easy, and again used my HRM to make sure that I was truly keeping it easy.
I knew that if I went out too fast, that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with Jen and she might have to leave my body in a snow pile somewhere. I parked at the JC Stone Field and ran to the boathouse, cut through the parking lot and back to the field. I suck at math so I seriously misjudged my turnaround point and had to run a little extra to get that 7. I refueled with a Gu and Jen and I got to work on the last 7. My Garmin also decided to have some type of seizure and kept beeping and flashing so we had to stop so I could reset it. Thanks to that, my times are mileage are a little wonky but luckily I was able to get the data from Jen. We finished the warm up and starting cranking out the miles. Splits were 10:39, 10:39, 10:55, 11:02 & 10:48… I don’t want to say they were easy but I felt very strong the whole time. We climbed the hill behind the boathouse, ran to Ingomar, turned around and climbed the hill again all at race pace miles, and really cranked it up for the last two tenths of a mile to simulate a fast finish. Yeah. We’re kind of a big deal. Kidding….sort of. We ran a mile cool down to our cars and passed Nichole along the way! I know I say this all the time, too, but it so nice to actually know some of the other runners out there and cheer each other on when we pass. Love it. I also have to say, that without a running partner, I NEVER would have attempted this kind of run; putting race pace miles into a long run sounds terrifying but was actually a lot of fun. Hopefully we are able to sneak a few more of these into our weekend runs because they are awesome!! We also tried to take a picture after, and there was a guy stretching by his car, so we tried to discreetly take our selfie and we were soooo busted. You kind of had to be there, but it was hysterical. 1st 7 miles 1:21 (11:23 pace). 2nd 7 miles 1:18 (11:09 pace).
So, I tried two new-to-me things this week and really enjoyed them both. I really see the value in adding doubles to a training schedule, but if I were to add those to a training plan in the future I would probably start out on a smaller scale like 2/2, 3/2, etc. 5/4 (or 5/5 like I planned) was a little extreme, but necessary.
I can tell that we are elbows deep in training because my hunger levels are off the chart. I am trying to make sure that I eat lots of good, healthy foods but…Girl Scout Cookies. I also really need to start nailing down my fueling strategy for race day, but I HATE feeling like a pack mule on my runs carrying all kinds of crap. I know that on race day, I’m going to leave the water bottle at home and rely on the water stations since there are so many on the course, but I still need to carry my gels. And that means using my runner’s fanny pack. Oh goody. I can’t wait.