This week, I capped off the third week in a building block that focused on some threshold/10k efforts and long runs that were either quite far or had workouts built into them. This week had another 20 miler, but with a large block of marathon pace miles in the middle. Some group runs got me up quite early some mornings, but it was worth it to have company while getting the work in. Here's the week in a snapshot:
Monday: 6.4, 52:40
Tuesday: 10.75, 1:26:55
Wednesday: 5.4, 53:22
Thursday: 10.32, 1:38:29
Friday: 8.16, 1:09:49
Saturday: 20.3, 2:39:00
Weekly Total: 61.4 miles
This week did not have an official workout besides the 12 miles at marathon pace; however, the Tuesday night group run had plenty of action to make up for the lack of structure. The 300+ feet of elevation drop in the first mile and climbing that same mile at the end of the 10 mile route makes for some good hillwork. I further capitalized on the route by running a 5:24 mile to start, then continued an aggressive pace up hill with close to 200ft of elevation gain in less than a mile. I clocked off some miles around and just under 7 minute pace and ended the night feeling all around good.
As always, I am so grateful for the She Runs This Town community local to my area. Even though I did not do a structured workout, I endeavored to get a second 10 mile run in during the week and found other women able to meet at 5am to get it done. Solo runs are generally enjoyable to me, but the strength and accountability of a group run for early wake-ups and longer midweek runs is priceless.
The 12 marathon pace miles were not a solo effort, as I had expected. I spent most of Friday dreading the next day, but I texted my running friends and had two pacers for the first mile and one pacer for the whole workout before I could take back the text. The game was on. I worked through the list of excuses and gave myself a positive affirmation to think about instead of the excuse. My goal was 7:15 pace, but I ended up averaging 6:59 pace. One mile was slower, around 7:23, as I freaked out a bit when I saw a 6:51 mile quite early on and put on the brakes a little too much. I jumped back onto the 6:5x pace train and did not look back. I felt a bit more tired than I thought I would at miles 4&5, but then I took a gel and some water and felt immediately reinvigorated.
My friend and I ran a 1.4 mile flat loop, which served to practice the rhythm running needed for a flat course and to stimulate some boredom running around 9 loops. By the end of the workout, I felt what I thought to be appropriately tired, but also like I had another 2-3 miles in me. While I felt tired the rest of the day, I did not have the same soreness or hindering fatigue from the 10 easy miles, 10 miles @marathon pace from two weeks ago. The next day, I felt basically recovered. It is incredible how adaptable our bodies are!
I am learning a lot of appreciation for my body, the wonders of training, and the joy of higher mileage. This training cycle has been an absolute joy, even with the tough days, and I am looking forward to conquering my first 50k in just 3 weeks! But first, it is time for a well-deserved down week.
Enjoy your miles!