Well no rest for those on the recovery road to Boston. Following is what was on tap for the week:
Total Mileage - 75
Wednesday and Friday: easy miles @ 7:20 or slower. 6 x 30 sec @ 5:30 pace with full recovery on Friday
Thursday: Tempo run; 7 miles @ 6:20 (Later advised to try and keep this under target marathon pace)
12 miles @ 6:40
20 miles (15 @ 6:50, 5 miles @ 6:30)
How it played out:
4 swims totaling 5300 meters
2 yoga classes
1 ART session
1 massage/torture session
My training partner and I decided to head out to Youngstown on Saturday to get in our 20 miler with another running friend who had a similar workout. Not quite the same, but in the same vein. So we changed the plan from the 15/5 to 10 miles at 7:15 followed by 8 at 6:20 and then a 2 mile cool down. It seems like we tend to do our long runs at a slightly faster pace than many friends training with similar goals, but it seems to work for us so we don't really question it. But I can't lie it was pretty nice running so easy for the first 10 miles, 6:50 isn't that hard, but 7:15 allows us to chat the whole time without any cares to what pace we're at. We had a great group, three of us gals and two guys. The weather was predicted to be pretty cold, 20 degrees, not exactly ideal for pushing the pace on iffy hamstrings, but I was hopeful the clear skies, sunshine, and good company would leave me feeling great and that the body would cooperate. And it did! Run was a huge success. We averaged just under 6:15 for the up tempo part of the run and while it wasn't easy it was definitely doable. Everyone seemed to get something they needed out of the workout and it was just a really positive run.
I need to work on relaxing a bit and sitting back into the group and not pushing the pace so much. I am clearly not comfortable when I am not in control, and I am clearly working harder than I need to be when I try to set the pace. There's a good chance at Boston I will have a decent group to work with, 69 women in the start with at least 19 between 2:46 and 2:50 BQs tells me that there will be some other gals looking to go 2:45 too, I need to be able to settle in and work with the group when I can to take the pressure off and conserve energy while I can.
While this run obviously wasn't a perfect simulator workout I do think it was a very good Boston prep. The long drive to the run simulates the bus ride before the race. The course we ran wasn't perfectly flat and we dealt with some wind. I have decided I am going to likely race in compression socks, so I tried those out, and my legs felt phenomenal after the run. Likely a combination of the easier early pace, the massage/torture session the day before, and the compression socks. Now if I could just get a little warmer weather to try them out that would be grand!
This morning my legs felt surprisingly good. Plan was 12 miles at 6:40. Tentatively I wanted to run more of a negative split type run really pushing the 8th and 9th miles that are uphill to try and see how I would feel going closer to marathon pace up Heartbreak. Wore my racing flats to try and get a feel for if they had any influence on my trashed quads last year, but the quads seemed to handle the hills ok in them today, though my right big toe callous definitely was indicating it might blister...
Another cold day so once again in tights. One of the guys ended up joining us around the 2nd mile so we had him pace us so we could just run and I could practice letting go of the pace setting mindset. We were a hair fast but with the slow first mile we actually had eased into our average pace before we hit the hills. Did my best to keep an honest effort up the hills and managed to pick up the pace the last few miles. A definite confidence boosting workout. Finished out at 6:33 pace for the run.
The calf problem seems to be ancient history. The hamstrings are still a little tender when I push the pace, I am sure the cold weather is not helping things. It's hard to keep your legs warm and loose when they are freezing! The pool workouts, yoga, ART, and masso therapy seem to be helping keep things in line though. Another ART session tomorrow and I am hoping I will make it through the Tuesday workout with no tightening up.