Well folks, the tough part of training is done. Last week wrapped up the meat of training and now we’ve hit the oh, so much fun taper time. In these past 9 weeks, I’ve logged 293.4 miles. I certainly would have loved more miles, but with an average of just around 33 miles a week, that’s actually pretty good for me. I was hoping for more back to back weekend runs this training cycle, but no training cycle for me can ever be perfect. Life just gets in the way sometimes.
Well, this week certainly showed that as well. It was also the first week where I was just plain tired. I again was on the road (hrm, I should see how many of the 293 miles were done outside of Pittsburgh) and I think it was all catching up to me. Two of my mid week runs were cut short due to time because I basically chose sleep over running. I just had to listen to my body.
Tuesday’s track workout went really well I though. I am still working on the 800m repeats and plan to get to 10 still in week 10. I would have liked to see a little more consistency in my splits, but I was still happy with my times. They ranged form 4:14 (my last one) to 4:33 (my second one). Since this was the first time I’ve ever done track workouts during a training cycle, I’m excited to actually see some speed for myself. At this point too, I am just even curious to see if the idea of the Yasso 800’s can really predict your marathon finish time. According to the man himself, I am doing it right, so I hope he’s right!!
Tuesday: 7.5 miles, 1:24:14 11:14/mile (8x800m w/400m walking rest)
Wednesday: 3 miles, 30:51, 10:17/mile
Thursday: 3 miles, 30:33, 10:11/mile
Saturday: 20 miles, 4:04:09, 12:12/mile — ON A TREADMILL
Total Miles: 33.5 miles
Then came the big 20 miler. I actually wanted to do two 20 milers this training cycle, but my first one sucked and I only got 18 in due to the crazy heat and humidity. So needless to say, I had put some pressure on myself for this 20. Well, it didn’t happen how I wanted it to happen. In fact it just almost didn’t happen. However, as I was debating on what to do, I had the crazy thought of doing the 20 miles on the treadmill. After some careful consultation with Kristy, I decided I would go for it. I told myself if it just didn’t happen, I’d do my 20 over Labor Day weekend and have a 2 week taper basically. Not how I envisioned this big run to go, but it is what it is.
I set myself up like I would come race day, even to the point of wearing my hydration vest while I ran. As best as I could, I wanted to do mock race day. I basically took over the one treadmill and just started going. Luckily, Kristy also needed some miles, so she said she would meet me up there to keep me company. When she showed up, she nearly scared me to death and I almost fell off of the damn treadmill.
The treadmill cut off after each hour. This actually helped keep things broken up for me. I just kept telling myself to get through one hour at a time. I could refill any water, grab new fuel or anything else after each of those hours. I definitely saw that each hour got slower and slower. By the start of the third hour, I was starting to waver a bit. I won’t lie and say this was all roses. This was tough! I tried to play around with elevation as best as I could as well. I did take some walk breaks too. The goal was just to get the 20 done and be done.
Mentally this was the hardest thing I think I have ever done. It was tough to stay focused and not to just stop the treadmill and give up. It was not how I wanted those 20 to go, but I was happy to just get them done. I mean, at least now I have something to brag about, right? There are less than 3 weeks to go to race day. Time to stay focused, stay healthy and make sure I am 100% getting to that start line.