Week #6 of marathon training was a big success for me for a couple of reasons: I did all of my scheduled runs on the appropriate days for the first time in a few weeks, and because I hit an important weekly milestone for the first time. I originally had 49 miles on my schedule, but a couple of running friends inspired me to have another idea...
Scheduled Rest Day
Tempo Run: 9 miles w/ 5 @ 15K - HM pace
The weather cooperated pretty well this week, and my tempo run was very enjoyable. It was the first one in which I didn't utilize the reservoir at all. At first, my legs felt sluggish and I wondered how I would get fast enough to hit my paces, but as always, once the garmin beeped, I managed to take off and monitor my watch very carefully. I took a two second break to fuel in the middle, but otherwise, the tempo miles went off without a hitch. My legs were tired, and mile 8 felt went very slowly, but by mile 9, they had mostly recovered.
Medium Long Run: 12 Miles
I knew that in order for me to get to work in a timely fashion, I would have to get out of the apartment at 5:15am. I also knew that I wasn't the most efficient at getting out of bed that early. So I decided to go to sleep in my running clothes in hopes that I would get out quicker, and for the most part, I did. After a couple of minutes of waiting for my Garmin, I got the signal, and I was off.
I felt very sluggish for the first half of my run, and it's clearly reflected in my paces. But after fueling mid run, my energy levels immediately increased and I was able to speed up, and even had my fastest two miles at the very end.
Easy Run: 7 Miles
This was supposed to be an easy 6 mile run, but once I decided to go for my new goal, I adjusted this run to make it possible. However, my Garmin must have felt overworked after the two hour run yesterday and refused to pick up a signal, even after being in the park for almost a mile, so I gave up. I think I did close to 10mm based on my start and finish time but I have no way to know for sure.
Scheduled Rest Day
Although I did not go running, I did go into the park to bring my friend Beth a cup of coffee. She was nice enough to wait in line since 3am to get tickets for us to see Into the Woods, and I figured it was the least that I could do. Although it wasn't technically a perfect production, the spirit of the story still shone through, and it was very enjoyable.
Long Run: 15 Miles
Since I got home late, I decided not to start my run until 8am. In hindsight, that was probably a mistake, but the temperature difference between 7am and 8am on the forecast was non-existant. Once again, my Garmin decided to have a hissy fit, but thankfully, it decided to catch a signal after I reached the park, so only 1/2 a mile went unrecorded.
In order to get my mileage, I decided to elongate the usual six mile loop to include both Harlem Meer and one loop of the reservoir. I ran this loop clockwise, and as I passed through Harlem Meer, someone who was either hungover or high (not sure which one) asked me which way 86th street was. I showed him. He then turned to 110th and said "wait a minute, that's not 65th street?". I said no, repeated my directions, and went on my merry way after he thanked me. I hope that he found his way to wherever he needed to go.
After I finished my elongated route, I did the normal route counter-clockwise this time, and somehow realized that I underestimated how long the route was (surprise, surprise) and at the end of the day, ran 15.5 miles. I could have stopped at 15 miles and walked, but after ditching Cat Hill to run up 5th avenue, I figured I should get the extra exercise in (2 rounds of Harlem Hill were enough for me for one day!). I seem to be very good at negative splitting my runs these days
I was surprised at how tired I was the rest of the day. Maybe it was the cumulative effect of training catching up, but even after going to a dress fitting, eating lunch, and taking a nap, I felt tired the rest of the day. Maybe it was the lack of my usual chocolate milk. Shrug. It was why I was so surprised that my run today went as well as it did.
Recovery Run - 7 miles
Well, I was expecting a total slug fest after how exhausted I was yesterday, but it was a beautiful, breezy day, and to my surprise, my easy pace was faster than I thought. I considered skipping Harlem Hill, but told myself not to be a baby and did it anyways. It was one of those runs where everything seemed to fall into place. I only stopped for water twice, and ran into the same woman who I had seen a couple of weeks previously.
And with that run, I accomplished a significant milestone - this was the first time I ran 50 miles in one week. In fact, my weekly total was 50.50 miles. I'm thrilled that I was able to reach this milestone, and as of now, my legs feel great.
This coming week, I do not have as many miles scheduled, but I will be facing my first twenty miler. I used to be scared of this milestone, but as the weeks go by, and as each workout is completed, I feel my insecurities going slowly away. In fact, the marathon doesn't scare me as much as it once did. I know that barring disaster, I will finish, and hopefully my training will reflect all of the hard work that I put into it.
Thanks for reading!