Oh! I get to taper! Actually, coach may be having me taper more than I did before my last marathon. Although I didn’t run two races in back-to-back weekends for the marathon, either, so maybe that’s part of it. Either way, this was the last bigger mileage week. I only hit 70 once this season, but considering that I’ve run five races already this year with two more in April, that’s not a huge surprise. I’ve had 10 weeks of 60+, and four weeks of 65+. So I suppose for as much I feel like I haven’t done, or haven’t run fast enough, or whatever else … I’ve still put in work.

C8ldU2sWAAEw0B9.jpg-largeNote: This is a recurring theme for me in recent weeks as I work through my own bit of imposter syndrome. I read a great piece by Sarah Mac lately that really summarized the feelings I’ve had this season. And I’m still working on summarizing all that into a post of its own. But these other two pieces are great, so read them in the meantime!

Monday: 8 miles, 64 min, 149 AHR. The pace completely belies how terrible this run was. Legs felt like junk, and it was 81 degrees with 15 mph winds. I was going to do some heat acclimation stuff starting next week, but apparently the weather might do it for me.

IMG_1470_16x9.jpgTuesday: 12 miles, 90 minutes, 155 AHR. 5×1 mile at threshold pace (85% max). My goal was 6:15 pace, but ended up averaging around 6:20. I got a late start because of work, long day. Seriously thought about pushing it to Wednesday a couple of times. I was pretty grouchy about the last rep being the slowest even though I was busting my ass at the end of it, but then I realized I a) didn’t give up and kept pushing on each of them and b) ran 12 miles in under 90 minutes with only 5 miles up-tempo and I could easily run a sub-90 half right now. (It took me YEARS to break 90!)

Some days, you fly. You float along, effortlessly running, loving every second of it, self-confident and proud. But let’s be honest, we don’t get as many of those days as we would like. The best you can hope for is that those shiny magical days show up on race day. But you only get them if you endure the days that are the opposite. The days that are a grind. The days that you don’t want to go run, but you do. The days you know you have to #JFR. The days that you look at your workout and you cringe. When you’ve had a long ass day at work. And then, you go. You write a mantra on your hand and you run. And you find a little bit of magic. You fly. And then you grind. You remind yourself nobody said it would be easy. In fact, you always knew it would be exactly the opposite.

Wednesday: 8 miles, 64 min, 145 AHR. Warm and breezy. Taught a good Pilates class after.

Arms by Pilates.

Thursday: 10 miles, 78 min, 145 AHR. Early morning solo run — but it’s light enough at 6:30 that I can forego my headlamp! I was trying to plan this to include a water stop before I started the 3 miles of 30 seconds on / 60 seconds off. It mostly worked out. I did get stopped by a train about 3 miles in, which was annoying. Taught Pilates Strength after work.

Friday: 6 miles, 49 min, 137 AHR. Super easy early morning.

Saturday: 12 miles, 90 min, 148 AHR. This run sucked. Which sucked, because I was excited about it. Before Monumental, I had a great goal pace run in which my last mile ended up being the same pace I averaged for the race! I had a similar workout this time, 12 total with 4-5 at half marathon goal pace. It was 70* already when I started, and I just could not hit pace. Goal was 6:30, maybe starting at 6:35 and working down to 6:25-6:20. HAHAHAHA NO. 6:41, 6:45, 6:50, stopped and stomped around and felt sorry for myself, 6:42. Didn’t even try another mile. My HR was in the right ballpark, maybe actually a little low, and I just wasn’t getting there. But then I jogged my 3 miles back home and felt totally fine, like I hadn’t done any sort of speed at all. I just did 5×1 mile at 6:20 pace! What is wrong with me???? I just ran a 10 mile hilly race at just under 6:30 pace — what is wrong with me???? But, like with Sarah Mac’s timely post, Anna Weber had tweeted a great example lately.

“6 weeks ago: 4xmile 5:12 avg

3 weeks ago: 5xmile 5:30 avg

Today: 6xmile 5:09 avg

Never get discouraged by a “bad” workout #keepgoing”

Yes. That. All of that. And a crummy workout does not a season make. Shut up, brain, and remember you ran 6:30s for a 10 miler two weeks ago, you haven’t somehow last that fitness over the 128 miles you’ve run since then. Suck it up, princess, and move on.

Oh, and go buy new racing flats in case that’s the problem… and end up buying two pairs, because the new model is out (NB 1400v5) but they also have the old model in the Elite purple color — the model that carried you through a great fall season and to a 2:57, and you’re just superstitious enough to need those, too.

Sunday: 6 miles, 49 min, 134 AHR. Best friend recovery day. We started off a little too quick. Saw a tree that had been struck by lightning earlier in the morning (during a storm heavy enough to shake the house and wake me up).

Totals: 62 miles run, 3.75 miles walked, 103 minutes of Pilates. (So bummed I didn’t get in any Jasyoga this week. Maybe later on Sunday, though!)