Something happened to me between the ValenTimes 10K and mile 22 of the Napa Valley Marathon. I decided I was fast to run Boston. Fast enough to run sub 3:50 even. Never mind the shit storm that ensued at mile 22. That was a cruel twist of nature. I'm still capable.
So how do I prepare for a marathon in 8 weeks? I got a coach... and got some interesting feedback. After looking at my splits he thought I should have just run my race faster. I was really working hard to slow myself down... and when you work to slow down, you lose running economy because you bounce up and down instead of moving forward. It kinda makes total sense when you put it that way.
He also noted I already had enough endurance. I could run all day if I wanted to (agreed...) I just need to work on running longer at a faster speed... ugh, I was afraid he was going to say that! He then devised a schedule for me that started last week. Admittedly, it looked super light when I looked at it... but hey, this guy has two Olympic trials qualifiers... I should trust him. The key is that I have more quality (read FASTER) runs on the schedule.
Last year, or even earlier this year, I struggled with the idea of a marathon pace (8:45) tempo run. Then, something clicked inside me after running a 7:43 pace 10K on 2/14 and having a conversational run for 22 miles of a marathon on 3/1... 8:45 pace is not that big of a deal anymore. I can do this. Just let me try again.
I took 2 weeks off to recover from Napa. Just got on the elliptical to stretch out my calves and then did some easy runs. New plan started last week - so I guess I'll call it a 6 week plan. My days are going Monday to Sunday now just because that's what the training calendar I get looks like. For the most part it's 4 runs a week but I adjust it some according to my schedule. My work schedule was hell last week. I worked 6 of 7 days. So...
Monday - 6 miles. Easy run after a hellish day at work.
Tuesday - Rest.
Wednesday - 6 miles. Easy run.
Thursday - Rest.
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 2 miles. This was supposed to be a "Progression Run", meaning 3 mile warm up, 3 miles at marathon pace, 2 miles at half-marathon pace, 1 mile at 10K pace, and a 3 mile warm down for a total of 12 miles. Well, I was totally exhausted and just felt like hell before I even started so I bailed at 2 miles and decided to try it again on Sunday.
Sunday - 12 miles. Success! My marathon pace was 8:45, half-marathon pace 8:20, and 10K pace 8:00. I told myself that I can run 6+ miles at 7:43 pace so I can run the 6 mile "meat and bones" of this workout at the prescribed paces.
First hard run of the training cycle in the bag!
Week 1 Total Miles: 26
Week 2 - so far...
Monday - 4 miles. Easy. My legs were super tight from Sunday so I hamster tracked it and it took all 4 miles before they were loose again.
Tuesday - 8 miles. This was called an "In and Out" workout. Not sure why it's called that but anyway, it's a 2 mile warm up, 1 mile at marathon pace, 1 mile at 10K pace, 1 mile at marathon pace, 1 mile at 10K pace, 1 mile at marathon pace, then a 1 mile warm down. It rained on me. It was not fun... but I got it done.
Again, my paces were faster than what I was trying to run. I have a hard time judging my pace and I think I'm simply too anal to run slower than a goal pace so my tendency is to speed up every time I see myself at goal pace.
Tomorrow will be a rest day and then I have a 20 miler planned after that. This week's total mileage still seems "low" at 36 but I'm definitely getting some quality miles in.
32 more days til Derby. I really do not have a Plan B this time. Onward!