This week was a little funky because I ended up resting on both Monday and Tuesday.
Mon: Rest. My foot and hip were still bothering me from the 20-miler on Sunday, but I could tell it was the kind of thing that would go away soon enough.
Tues: I woke up with lingering pain/soreness, so I decided to put off my 3-mile easy run until the afternoon. Unfortunately, various things got in the way, forcing me to postpone the run to Wednesday. I was secretly happy about the extra rest.
Wed: All of those rest days were good to my legs. I had just enough of a spring in my step to change this from a recovery/easy run to a easy-to-medium effort run. Only downside was that the Lake bathrooms were closed, so I had to make a 15+ minute detour to Trader Joe’s. Boo hoo.
Stats: 4 miles @ 10:11/mile
Thurs: Solo turkey trot! Beautiful morning for a run. My goal was sub-10:00 pace.
Stats: 5.1 miles @ 9:53/mile
Fri: Very light cross-training in the form of walking to and from brunch, the movies (we saw “Lincoln,” which was fantastic. Go see it!!), and Trader Joe’s.
Stats: 60 minutes walking (3+ miles)
Sat: Another weird day where I had the hardest time fitting in a measly 3-mile run in the middle of my day. I ended up with just enough time for a short 2+ mile run between a late lunch and meeting up with a friend. (I know, my life is SO hard!! jk)
Stats: 2.35 miles @ 9:42/mile
Sun: Last long run of this training cycle! I had 10 miles on the calendar, and wanted to keep it local and low-key. The thought of running 3 times around Lake Merritt made me want to shoot myself, but I came up with a great idea: run 2+ miles to the LMJS 4th Sunday Race, run the 10K, then jog back home. It’s almost exactly 10 miles. Not only would I have some company and motivation, but it would also give me a nice dry run through the race morning experience in terms of getting up, eating, etc.
My 2.2 mile warm-up was fine, except that I started off way too fast in the first mile… though strangely enough, it didn’t feel fast at all. It was also weird to run a 2 mile warm-up, then have to stand around for 20 minutes, waiting for the race to start. It felt strange to be at a LMJS race without any friends for the first time, though I ended up running into KP, who was volunteering at the registration table. It was a pleasant surprise to see at least one familiar face. The Thanksgiving weekend brought in a lot of first-time 5K runners, which was great, but the 10K and 15K groups were quite meager.
Obviously, my goal for this race wasn’t to PR. I wanted to run something between 9:30-10:00/mile AND to feel good about that pace. I accomplished the first goal just fine, coming in around 1:00:02 (9:40/mile; my Garmin says I ran 6.25 miles @ 9:36/mile). The second goal was more elusive. My left IT band has been bugging me off and on this week, and it was noticeable from the first warm-up mile. By the time I finished, it had gotten worse, to the point where I could hardly jog 12:00/mile during the cool-down. Fortunately, it got better eventually, but I know I will have to keep an eye on it and keep rolling it this week.
On top of the ITB issue, it was hard for me to get into a rhythm. The first lap passed quickly, as it always does. I had fun passing the slowest 5K runners (who started 2 minutes ahead of the 10K and 15K runners), as well as the 10K runners who start out too fast and inevitably start losing steam at mile 2. At the end of the first lap, I saw KP, who was yelling, “Aren’t you supposed to be tapering??!!” I kind of chuckled as I passed her. I noted to myself that I wasn’t going a super fast pace (for me), but it felt more difficult than it should have. Also, the 2nd lap sucks because there are so few runners left on the course. I still managed to pass 2 runners with 1.5 miles to go. I had my sights set on a pair of women ahead. I managed to get right behind them with a quarter-mile to go, but then they stopped chatting and put all of their effort into the last stretch. They totally left me in the dust! I finished the race with an 8:38/mile pace.
I spent about 5 minutes getting a drink of water and talking to KP, who was handing out ribbons to the finishers, and to KP’s friend C. KP admonished me for racing a week before CIM. I didn’t have a good response, so I replied, “Well, didn’t YOU just race on Thursday??” (She is running the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon next week, so she should be tapering too.) I would’ve stayed and chatted longer, but I didn’t want to get completely cooled down before my jog home, so I said bye to KP and C.
Nothing exciting to report about my cool-down jog except that it was definitely at recovery pace (11:45/mile), i.e., glacial. I didn’t realize until I got home that even though I had an issue with my ITB, I didn’t have any pain on the top of my left foot or any problems with my right hip. Hooray! I think that the 10K could have gone a little better, but I’m happy overall with this last long run.
Stats: 10 miles @ 9:55/mile
WEEKLY TOTAL: Target 22 miles/ Actual 21.45 miles + 60 min cross training
How I feel about it: It seemed like everything was a bit wonky this week, but it turned out OK. I totally slacked on the cross-training. B.
p.s. Have you put in an entry for my “Guess My Marathon Time” post yet? Don’t dally! Only 7 days left until the big day!
Wow, what a great taper week. Good for you. I fell like I should revamp my Marathon prediction based on this info, but I won’t to avoid cursing you.
Hm, now I’m curious. Would you predict faster or slower? Because your prediction was already on the fast side…
It depends on your goals, I guess. Given your paces this week, I’d guess that if you started with the 4:25 group, you could stay with them for most, if not all of the race. But, as I mentioned before, I’m a big fan of relaxing and not pushing the pace on your first marathon.
If there is a 4:30 or 4:35 pace group, I’ll run with them at the start. I don’t know how I feel about starting with 4:25. I think that it would be a downer (psychologically and physically) to get “left behind” early in the race.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing between 4:40 and 4:25 (http://www.runcim.org/page/show/258799-marathon-pace-team-information.)
FWIW, unless the weather is crazy, I really doubt you’d get left behind early on by the 4:25 folks. The 4:25 group would should put you through the half at right around 2:11 or so — you’ve shown that you can do much faster than that and you’re running almost all your taper miles faster than this pace, so I’d assume it should be quite comfortable for you ’til 20 or so, at which point, it’s just not that comfortable no matter how fast or slow you are going.
Yeah! Great week except for ITB. And yeah, aren’t you supposed to be tapering miss 8:38 pace on mile 6! You’re almost there, take it easy on the bod. Good idea to try and hammer out your pre-race routine, how exciting that you are so close!
Thanks Dominick! Yeah, I realized during the 10K that I have very little self-control when it comes to the last little bit of a race, even when I’m supposed to be tapering.
Sounds like you are going to be where you need to be come race day. This week’s rest will hopefully put those aches and pains to bed for you. See you there!
Thanks misszippy! See you at CIM!
Congrats on wrapping up your last long run… sounds like you’re well prepared! The extra rest is so important. I used to feel guilty skipping runs that were in my training plan, but I don’t any longer! My body appreciates that rest, and it’s an easy way to keep injury at bay.