Holy cow was last week a tough week of running! But I am really, really happy with how it all went down, feeling more confident in my goal marathon pace than I ever have.
Tuesday was a speed day– six 90-second hill repeats (that makes for a loooong hill), followed by four miles tempo. I was beat at the end of this one, and when I told Coach Jeff this, his response was “perfect!” He was looking to fatigue my legs right from the get go last week. It worked.
Wednesday and Thursday were easy days, followed by Friday’s eight miler with six at MP. This run could not have gone any better–I’m not going to go so far as to say MP was effortless, but this was the easiest pace run I’ve done by far. Still, my legs were feeling a bit tired at the end of it, which worried me for Saturday’s monster workout. Jeff wrote it like this: 22 miles, broken up with miles three through nine at MP plus 15 seconds; miles nine through 16 at MP; and miles 16-20 as fast as I could go, followed by a two mile cool down.
When I first started my run that morning, I really had doubts that I’d be hitting those paces. I was definitely running on some tired legs and just couldn’t imagine doing it. But I ran the first six by myself and then joined up with two of my faster friends who jumped in and kept me company for the final 16 miles. And you know what? I nailed my paces all the way through mile 16. Miles 16-18 I managed to keep below MP, and then 18-20, I slipped back up over MP, especially as I hit the long series of gradual inclines on that section of our run. Overall, however, that was one seriously strong run.
I can’t tell you how happy I am with the decision to work with Jeff. Had I not done this, I would never, ever have pushed myself like this. Not because I didn’t want to or lacked the motivation, but because I lacked the confidence to believe my body could handle this much hard work. I was sure this volume of harder training would put me on the DL, or at least leave me so exhausted I wouldn’t have the energy to handle the rest of my life. But I am handling it and I am getting incredibly excited for my marathon now.
On a side note–after Saturday’s run, I headed straight to my son’s swim meet to work the concession stand. For the first hour, I was doing ok, but as I headed into the second hour, fatigue was starting to set in. My duties ended up including working the grill and I’m telling you, the grill nazi boss who was overseeing me was pushing every tired, cranky button of mine. Lucky for me (or her?), Mr. Zippy came to the rescue. After already working as timer for four hours, he stepped in and took my spot for the last two hours, sending me home for a nap. Husband of the year, right there!
Now onto the final four weeks of training. Wednesday promises to be a tough one–two by six miles at threshold pace. But after Saturday’s run, I know I can manage it.
Ever had a training cycle push you further than you thought you could go? End result–awesome race?