The Weekly Mile: Week 17 (Solid)
Monday, August 06, 2012
It's Monday. Yesterday I ran 12 miles. I should hurt a little bit today right?
But truth of the matter is I FEEL GREAT, so that has to mean that I'm doing something right...right? I would assume that it's a combination of a bunch of things, so as a "straight-up" training blog - here's the skinny on my week, a breakdown of my runs, and maybe some clues to why things are so solid right now.
I started out this past week with a HOT 7-miler. I ran at 9pm at night to wait out the 100 degree weather of the day, but even after sunset it just refused to cool down. I slowed my pace (or rather THOUGHT that I slowed by pace) but ended up clocking an 11.5 min/mile anyway. Doesn't matter what I do recently, that seems to be my body's comfortable place, so as long as I don't feel like I'm exerting too much, I just hang in that zone. I was still nursing some soreness in my shins after breaking in those new shoes on a 10-miler, but I stayed true to form as best I could and forward on my feet which seemed to help my pace as well. No fuel on this run, but a short stop for water at mile 5 as I opted not to take my bottle with me. I find running on a full day's worth of eating is always optimal for me, but I was still ready for this run to be done when it was. Air conditioning felt great!
After a rest day on Tuesday, I used Wednesday night to swim. I continue to cross-train fairly hard in the pool. It works different muscle groups, keeps me limber, and REALLY helps with my breathing on my runs. Breathing in the pool is very paced and methodical (it has to be so you don't swallow water), and it's a good practice in slow, methodical breathing on the trails as well. Overall, I just noticed that my breathing was very regular in all my runs this week. Not laboured, but also such that I didn't have to concentrate much on it at all like I sometimes do.
Another rest day on Thursday (which was a deviation from the schedule), but my foot was bothering me Thursday night. I remembered about half way through the day that I had dropped something on it Wednesday, though I don't remember what. But the top of it is bruised and was just sore enough that I opted to run Friday morning instead of Thursday night. Ended up being a good choice.
Regular Friday morning run - 5 miles on the neighbourhood streets. Didn't enjoy this week as much as last, but it somehow seemed to go by a bit faster this week. Still maintaining that 11.5 min/mile pace, but I now have my 8K (5 mile) distance down to 56 minutes, which I'm very happy with. It a nice round number of miles that comes in solidly under an hour now and that helps me estimate my final marathon time a little better. I'm also getting better at fueling for these morning runs. The sports drink trick before bed I feel honestly helps me wake up easier in the morning, and a small breakfast keeps me fueled well enough on these short runs that I don't need anything else. Also something to note - my small breakfast of Friday consisted of GLUTEN FREE banana bread, and it's the first time I've done a full morning run without a HINT of "runner's trots". Could be something in that information, but it will take more experimenting to know for sure, however, it worked like a gem on my long run Sunday as well.
Rest day Saturday and EARLY to bed. I was in bed by 10:30pm, asleep by 11. Which was good because my alarm went off at 7:30am. Time for the 12-miler before the heat. Thankfully storms on Saturday night had cooled things off remarkably, but that still didn't stop me from getting quite a bit of sun yesterday.
Fueled with 1/2 a bottle of Powerade Saturday night, then the other 1/2 Sunday morning. Pineapple, string cheese (for protein) and a big piece of that gluten free banana bread with chocolate chips in it. YUM! I opted to take an Accel Gel with me - consistency is a bit thinner than GU, but this one was without caffeine. Headed out and ran over to the Lakefront Trail (it's 3 miles to the trail from my house). I had planned to run north 3 miles, then turn around and take the same path back, but the trail was so awesome yesterday morning - so many runners out, beautiful lake breeze - that I decided to stay on it to the furthermost point north and then to run back past my turnoff point by a mile and take the bus home as a treat. Worked great! I split my run in 6 mile halves, so started to look for a fountain to take my Accel Gel at mile 6. I think I was at about 6.4 miles before I found one, but I still felt pretty good and wasn't fading that badly, so it was no big deal. I was prepared for the consistency of GU, so I actually had a harder time with the Accel because it was more liquidy. I gulped it down with water, stretched and went back on my way. NOT as big of a boost as the caffeine infused GU from last week for sure. I did feel energized enough to complete the second leg of the run, but instead of just feeling good, I wanted to feel great. We'll try another one next week and see what happens.
At mile 10 I actually felt amazing and debated my ability to run a full Half instead of just 12 miles, but how quickly things changed and by the time I was past mile 11 I was definitely ready to see the finish. Bested my time though and know that had I done the Half distance would have shaved a couple minutes off my time!
Finished and found a drinking fountain asap and then walked SLOWLY for almost a mile to the nearest bus stop to take me home. Despite feeling like I was totally stanky offensive on the bus, the air felt good and sitting down felt better, so thankfully the bus wasn't too crowded. I stiffly limped a little bit home from the bus to my house, refueled immediately with water, more pineapple and a cup of chocolate almond milk, and after a warm shower, was feeling pretty great. Went out and had a great brunch with the man - omelettes and toast and coffee - and wasn't as stiff after sitting as I thought I'd be, or usually am.
I think because I finished my run early in the day, and then had the rest of the day to be up and fairly active, walking around, staying limber, that my muscles recovered so much better than when I run in the morning and sit at my desk, or run at night and then go to bed. Good information to have, and I sure felt pretty accomplished all day yesterday. Mr. Marathon might just make me into a morning person yet!
Week 17 Schedule (Completed):
Mon - 7 miles
Tue - Rest
Wed - Swim
Thu - Stretching
Fri - 5 miles
Sat - Rest
Sun - 12 miles
Total Weekly Miles: 24
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 4173
Weekly Friday Weigh-In: hanging on to 185-186
Week 18 Schedule:
Mon - Rest
Tue - 3 miles
Wed - Swim
Thu - 8 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - 14 miles
Sun - Rest