Good morning, friends! I’m feeling refreshed and ready to go this morning after sleeping in until (gasp!) 7:40. Longer runs and life had me waking up pretty early all week and I could feel the wheels starting to fall off yesterday. I needed this rest.
Week 10 started out poorly, but rebounded into a week that built confidence and has me excited for week 11. Week 10 included a disaster of a track workout, a LONG mid-week tempo run and a reduced long run of 15 miles down from 20 the week before. The training plan has two more 20 milers left before the big race in Richmond and I plan to run the next one someplace flat and the final one someplace a bit more challenging. I might tackle the Virginia Ten Miler course x2 again. I don’t think there’s a better way to prove my readiness.
On another topic, many of my running friends received word from Boston this week about their applications to race the Boston Marathon in 2018. For those of you that don’t know, there are qualifying standards to be accepted for application. You must run better than a specific time based on your age and gender at a qualifying marathon. Applications are received and then runners must play the waiting game. The tough part is that qualifying doesn’t guarantee that you’ll make the cut. More applications are received than there are spots, so Boston must adjust the qualifying time to accept the allowable amount of runners. This year the qualifying times were adjusted by 3 minutes and 23 seconds, which is the largest adjustment there has been. Many runners’ hearts were broken by this. Although Boston is the ultimate prize for the hard work, I hope that runners can take comfort in knowing that although they can’t run Boston, they EARNED it. My goal for Richmond is to finally earn my Boston Qualification, which for my age will be a 3:15 marathon. I’ve been shooting for a goal of 3:10, just to avoid that heartbreak.
Alrighty then, let’s get to the training recap.
Monday – Cross-Training
Last week, I slacked on Monday and I wasn’t about to slack again. We played some basketball and then I let cross-training coach Cody take over. We did 20 minutes of weighted walking lunges, pull ups, burpees and some sort of strict presses. I was BEAT DOWN. My body had an immediate feeling of being drained. The cross-training is good for me and I know that I need it. I plan to do more of this after Richmond when I don’t have to worry so much about killing my running workouts. Unfortunately, the lunges may have done just that.
Track Tuesday – 3x2x1200m in 4:24, with 2 min Rest Intervals (4 min between sets)
This did not go well. My first DNF. I knew from the start that I would have trouble holding the pace demanded by my training. I didn’t even make it on the first one and that’s a bad sign. I actually quit in the middle of a 1200m. I felt dirty. My lungs burned and my butt was sore. Stupid lunges. Stupid glutes (or lack thereof). My butt tightness did give me a little fear of injury, but to be honest it was just an opportunity to be a quitter.
I posted my shame to Strava for all to see. I have great running friends and they were all ready to give me the pep talks and words of wisdom that I needed. They convinced me to forget and move on to the next one.
Wednesday – Cross-Training
Basketball AND soccer? Are you mad cap? Yes, I am. Basketball was really fun, but a ton of work. 4 of us played at lunch. We are teammates in our work league (which will be starting up next month) so it’s been nice to make each other work hard and see the improvement.
Soccer was fun too, but the other team ate our lunch. It was a rivalry game too, dammit. My buddy Joe and I talked trash to each other all month about this game and Joe delivered. I told him I wouldn’t allow him a single goal when I was on the field and he got 2. I think I owe him a bottle of whiskey or something, as is the custom.
Playing two sports a day is a young man’s endeavor, I think. I realized that at about 9:00 that night. I was pretty worn out. I’m thinking that I may want to stop doing such things. As the great Detective Murtaugh would say, “I’m getting too old for this s–t.”
Tempo Thursday – 10 minute w/u, 10 miles at 7:14 pace, 10 minute c/d
I took my training week back! After a shameful track workout on Tuesday, I really needed a good performance just to keep the doubts away. Luckily, I DID have a good run! I was able to run better than my goal pace for all bu tthe first mile. It’s shocking to me when I take a step back and look at how far this training is taking me. I ran a sub 71 minute 10 miler as a training run. It’s a real confidence booster.
Friday – Rest
Saturday Long Run – 15 miles at 7:34 pace
You know you’re deep in marathon training when a 15 mile long run is a break. What my plan gave me as a break in the distance it took away by speeding up the pace a bit. Luckily, the weather also gave me a break. It finally felt like fall! I did make the mistake of thinking that the nicer weather would mean that I wouldn’t sweat and wouldn’t need much to drink. I was wrong. I still ended up sweating buckets by the end of the run and could have used another bottle of Tailwind. I was pretty worn out by the end. The miles felt a lot like late marathon miles, that’s for sure. That’s a good thing since I’m definitely going to have to get used to those. I did finish with a good negative split and I plan to do that for most of my tempos and long runs from here on out.
The run started at 5:15am. Soooooo early. I had a choir retreat to attend and had to be there at 8:30, so I didn’t have much of a choice. I was alone in the dark with just the deer and me. I took a picture off of one of the trail bridges at the end of my run and it was STILL dark. Bummer.
According to Garmin Connect, I burned 1,846 calories on the run. I did a pretty great job of eating those calories back with pizza and pizza rolls combined with some beer. Beers were Sweet Baby Jesus and Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, two of my all time favorites!
Sunday – Rest
Another wedding! I’m very much looking forward to attending. My friends Jordan and Alyssa are a great couple and I’m happy to be there to watch them tie the knot. Also, cake (I hope).
If you are observant and looked at my pic, you may be asking yourself, “What is that race bib Randy is wearing? He wasn’t racing.” That’s true. It’s part of a Fun Run Box that I received for free to try and review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Basically, when you sign up and order a package you get some cool stuff in the mail and you become part of a team combined with other runners from all over. You then complete challenges to earn points that are combined with your teammates. It has been a lot of fun to get involved and interact with other runners. I’ll definitely go into more detail with a full post soon.