I wrote a really good recap post yesterday and it got eaten by the internet. Sigh. Trying again.
I don’t think I’ve ever been as sad to see a marathon training cycle end as I am this one. It seems like it really flew by and it never seemed overwhelming. That gives me hope for this race and for trying to run some fast times in the next couple of years. (My heart is set on Boston 2017, and it’s not set on running slow.) While I don’t have a plan for 2016 (yet), I would like to push my mileage up in the 70-80 range.
This was the first step-down week in the taper. No double-digit weekday runs, what?
Monday was an off day but I did pop into stretch & abs with Sue. It’s almost less about the workout than it is the camaraderie in that class.
Tuesday afternoon I had a meeting off-site and had hoped it would wrap up early enough to get in 8 miles before yoga. No dice. Instead, I squeezed in 5 PDQ and sweated the whole way through class. Great class though.
Wednesday was a total off day; we had an awards dinner to attend that night. I was honored to be one of three inaugural recipients of the Rising Star award presented to young communications professionals by the local IABC/PRSA chapters. My college public relations professor/promoter nominated me and we had a good time. We followed that up with a trip to Haymarket Whiskey Bar.
The award reminded me of my great-grandpa’s calendar entry when I first entered this world. “On this day, a star was born.” I still have the page.
Thursday morning may have been the last FURLY run of the season, at least the first one before 6 a.m. (I hope). I still didn’t have enough time to get in that 8 miler, but I got in 6.25.
The best part? I saw a meteor. Unbeknownst to me, the Orionid Meteor Shower was having a spectacular morning. I was just over a mile in when I saw something bright ahead that isn’t usually there. Honestly, I’m a little surprised it caught my eye, but it was pretty much dead ahead and really bright. It flew by long enough that I was able to stop my Garmin and watch it for several seconds. Stunning. I’ve never been lucky enough to see something like that before.
From Rising Star to shooting star, huh? It gets better.
While I was out running, my grandma — using my grandpa’s Facebook account — commented on my photos from the awards dinner.
“We’re so proud of you. Poppa is looking down with a big smile.”
By the way, it was a second-consecutive zippy run of the week. Welcome back, legs! Way to adapt to training stressors!
I made up the mileage with a 3 miler that afternoon also at a relatively quick pace and literally ran directly into Pilates Strength. That made for a pretty solid workout day — 9.25 miles in under 70 minutes plus 45 minutes of strength training.
Which meant Friday I was toast. By the way, three runs in 24 hours? For that I could’ve gone ahead and run Bourbon Chase. Ouch. I kept it super easy and didn’t even pay attention to my watch. That evening we checked out a new brewery in Jeffersontown, which I am mentioning here because it was super cool. 3rd Turn Brewery is in a former church, complete with original stained glass ceilings and exposed roof beams. They opened in time for the huge Gaslight Festival, but barely — so they won’t be serving their own brews until next month. In the meantime, they’ve got 20-30 local beers on draft featuring a lot of cool breweries. Once they have their own offerings, they’ll maintain a selection of others local craft brews, too. No kitchen but they provide menus to nearby restaurants and encourage you to bring your own food.
Saturday I slept in and did some stuff around the house before realizing one of my New Balance Louisville teammates was racing the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon. I got there just in time to cheer for him at the halfway turnaround and then headed out on my own jaunt. I skipped Pilates because we were heading out to my family’s farm later and I needed to get some more stuff done at home. I’d like to note I won half the games we bowled that night … usually I win one, maybe two, but we only played four because it was getting late.
Sunday was another nice sleep-in day — and while you might think I slept in really late because of the start times, I don’t think I even made it to 8 a.m. either day. Mostly I just had time to dawdle around the condo.
Also, Sunday’s long run was really the end of the training cycle. The end of the real work, anyway. I found myself procrastinating because I wanted this last run to go well and I was nervous in case it didn’t.
Spoiler alert: It went well.
I started at Milestone like normal and did my normal boring 6-mile loop around that side of St. Matthews. Water at Browns Park and then headed to Seneca. Basically the same as last weekend but I didn’t have to do the Bowman Field loop. Water and a gel at 8.5 then over to the Reservoir, where I did a lap around the top even though the winds were gusting 15 mph.
I played with some ideas about doing part of the run at marathon pace, or picking it up after 6 or 10 miles. In the end, I ran pretty even splits and just consistently fast — and not far off marathon pace. I love a fast-finish long run but it was also good to just maintain a quick pace through most of the run. I didn’t focus on the splits much so they’re not super-consistent — bounced around between 7:25 and 7:35. Not focusing on the pace and having it be so close to marathon pace and not feel hard was a nice boost.
I did put a little work into the last 4 miles, including a 6:48 last mile. Like I’ve been doing, I ran the last couple of miles with the screen flipped to distance/time with pace not showing. I like to set arbitrary time goals when I do this (I don’t set them in advance, just on the fly) and imagine that time goal is my marathon time goal. So this time I pretended 2 hours was my “goal” time and tried to get it. (Success.)
I’d call this a good week of training. 43 miles total, and while I couldn’t find a race to test my fitness, I feel it was reflected pretty well in the week’s runs. I had 2:15 of cross training, too.
Also, I weighed in this week a pound below race weight! Now I just have to maintain while not running as much through the taper. (Not sure what your racing weight should be? I highly recommend this book by Matt Fitzgerald. He also has an accompanying cookbook that is good, too.)
Now I’m in full taper mode — only 32 miles this week. It’s sort of baffling. I have three non-running days! At least one of those will feature spin class but I’m not sure how many spin sessions I’ll get in. Playing that by ear depending on how I feel. It’s now time to lay off, rest up and avoid getting sick or hurt.
I’ll be crunching the numbers closer to race day for the whole training cycle, but here’s a screen shot of my long runs. I believe this represents that thing they call “fitness.”