Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Another Tempo

I finished a lackadaisical week of training last week. I took a couple of days off just because work hours were ridiculous and my body said that it needed the rest. My body was literally shutting down on the couch as soon as I got home at 9:00 PM. Showing up at 7:45 and working until 9:00 leaves little time or energy for running, but I somehow managed 60 miles for the week anyway. So, while last week wasn't ideal, I somehow got enough miles in to not go backwards.

This week, I ran the Sunday morning 10 miler faster than we have in a while. 1:18 or so. I wanted to run faster starting at about mile 4, but there was some resistance. Then after mile 5, Carl told me I was speeding up and I told him it was on purpose and he came along. And he pushed me even more towards the end of the run. It felt better than it has in a while.

Today, instead of eating lunch, I ran 10 miles with 5 miles at tempo pace, which I think should be about 6:30 per mile.  That's probably too fast for my current fitness level, but I'm not going to let myself believe that. It was warmer than it has been in a while, but it was really nice running weather. I ran the 5 miles at a 6:31 average pace, but I was fading fast at the end. It was a struggle just to get one foot in front of the other.  I thought I was going to throw up, and my stomach has been sick, sour, and upset ever since. I don't handle lunch time runs as well as early morning runs for some reason.

I'm going to keep on preparing as if I can run a 3:00 marathon. We'll see, but 3:05 is much more realistic.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week in Review

This past week may just have been a turning point. I had taken nearly three weeks completely off with the hamstring injury. Before those weeks off, I wasn't running hard because I couldn't, so I wasn't doing any quality training. So, I went over a couple of months with little to no quality training. I had no confidence and I was very discouraged. Can I still call myself a runner?

When I smash PRs later this year, I'm going to look back at the week beginning January 30, and say that was the turning point. I started with travel to Minneapolis. I packed for the cold. I had tights, gloves, ear muffs, jackets, a scarf, the works. I was planning to run in the cold. The temp was -8 with a 17 mph wind with snow everywhere. So I had a choice to make. Gut it out on a treadmill or don't run.

I gutted it out on a treadmill. I did a 10 miler with 4 miles at 6:31 pace as a tempo workout. That tempo run was absolutely pain free in the hamstring. I wanted to quit the whole time, and I didn't ever quit. My confidence was back! Then, the next day, I ran 11 on the treadmill. Both runs were absolutely miserable. But they both boosted my confidence like no runs have in a while because (a) they didn't hurt my hamstring and (b) they were miserable and I hung in there anyway.

Then, Saturday I ran 21.5 of the toughest miles in Alabama.  James Falcon and I ran the McKay Hollow Madness course, but we added the Land Trust loop (including Waterline) to get over 20 miles. It was a brutal run, and we were slow (thanks to James for not dropping me because he could have at any time), but again I gutted out a tough run beyond the point of wanting to quit.

Then that was followed up with a nice 10 miler (I did almost 14, running there and back home) with the Athens crew. And we ran a more brisk pace than usual today.  What a solid week.  I feel great! Tired, but great!