Sunday, October 25, 2009

7 weeks to go

First week of the crazy 8 week training plan done. Each week I will summarize mileage total and key workouts- with goal and actual times.

This week- 72 miles, long run, 2 workouts

Workout 1 (3*2 miles with 2 minute recovery)

Hit the two mile Lansdowne/Wingrave loop with Ben for 3*2 miles with 2 minute recovery. The first mile is a net downhill and is fast, the second mile is pretty much all uphill and hard! We had talked about hitting 5.40-5.45 pace but that immediately went out the window as we ran 5.24 for the first mile, even though it didn't feel particularly fast. So I ended up working harder than originally planned for this workout but happy with the results.

Hit 11:05 (5.24/5.41), 11:11 (5.26/5.45) and 11:20 (5.36/5.44). Was with Ben through the first miles but then he would crush me on the hill. Oh and then he did a 4th! Happy with how the training is developing though...

Workout 2 (4 mile tempo on trails (6:00 pace), 1 mile jog, 6,400m tempo on track (5:45 pace)

Headed out in the afternoon which is always a bit weird but hit a fairly decent workout. Warmed up for a mile followed by 4 * 200m strides. Did the first 4 miles of the tempo at Mcalpine. Goal was 6:00 pace. Hit 5:45, slowed down so get closer to prescribed pace for next 3 (5:54,5:58,5:56), mile recovery to CC track, straight into second 4 miles (1600s) of tempo.

Goal for these was 5:45 pace but could tell immediately that this wasn't going to happen. Hit 5:54,5:54,5:50,5:46. Finished with 4*100m striders and a jog home.

To be honest I was absolutely zapped by this workout but I think it was more the accumulation of work the past few weeks than lack of current fitness. It was interesting as in Mcalpine I was having to hold myself back to hit the pace whereas at the track my legs just had no spark and I was dragging myself around.

Got it done though. Rest day tomorrow and a 'down' week ahead- I'm due one

MCM'ers did great!

Long run- 18 miles 'easy'

18 miles in 2:07:20 (7:04 average). 1st official long run of the 7 week charge. Ran 11 on my own (Alexander/Sardis loop and through Mcalpine) then met up with Ben, Caitlin, Megan and Matt for 5 or so and a couple on my own again at the end. Felt smooth on my own, then was just chatting, then the last couple of miles were hard going and legs felt heavy (not surprised). Was fully recovered from Wednesday though. Now just got to hope I can recover somewhat before tomorrow's workout.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The road to Thunder Road

Okay, call me crazy, but guess what, I'm planning an assault on Charlotte's Thunder Road Marathon, Saturday December 12th. Before you all say stupid idea, sure route to more injuries, let's put this into a bit of a context and maybe you'll see where I'm coming from!

Back up to last post in September. I started running again on August 26th and built back very slowly. Weekly miles since then have been 11,22,36,44,51,56,58,69, on course to hit 70 plus this week. I ran a pathetic rust busting 5k on the 10th October in 17:26 and started hitting a few workouts. The following Saturday I ran a more encouraging 15k in 54:02. Okay so it was nearly three minutes slower than I've previously run but it was fairly under control and stuck to my pre race plan.

When I was able to follow that up the next day with 17 miles it got me thinking about Thunder Road again. Emails followed with Coach Tim and we decided to go for it. More emails back and forth followed and the Training Plan was determined. 7 weeks to go and training starts in earnest tomorrow with 18 miles in the am.

Why am I trying this? Why don't I just carry on building back slowly, maybe aim for the Half, stay healthy through the winter and shoot for a Spring marathon? Good question. But it feels right and after a year of travails on the trails at last I've got something to focus on. The thought of just running through the cold, dark mornings of Winter with nothing specific to aim for just didn't appeal I'm afraid....

This of course isn't going to be your typical marathon build up, far too late for that. The theme is going to be hitting the (twice weekly) workouts as hard as possible, doing the long runs nice and slow and running VERY easily on the other days.

So keep posted over the next few weeks. It could be a roller coaster of a ride....