I really wish we could spread some of the December excitement into mid January. It’s like drinking fun from a fire hose (mixed with massive amounts of last minute scrambling) on this week before Christmas. So forgive me if everything I say comes out in a gurgle.
I’ve already sufficiently bemoaned my lack of brilliance in signing up for a winter marathon while living in Alaska. But I have to say–without that marathon to motivate me–there is no way I’d have the discipline to keep running consistently. In the past few weeks, 90% of my miles have been on the treadmill or at an indoor track. Not my favorite. I normally look forward to my runs as one of my favorite parts of the day. Lately, however, I’ve just been looking forward to having them over with. Still, I’m very glad to have a training goal and 26.2 reasons to force myself back on that treadmill each day.
Monday – 8 miles (8:22 avg) – Had a hard time dragging myself onto the treadmill to start this workout, but felt pretty good once I got going. A few miles warm up, then 5 x 600m at 6:53 pace with 400m R/I. A few miles to cool down and then done! My husband’s schedule shifted at the last minute, freeing him from work on Monday (which happened to be the day of our anniversary!). So after my early morning workout and getting the kids off to school, we headed out for a breakfast date and to explore a bit of Alaska’s beautiful scenery. It was as cold (-10!) as it was beautiful.
Tuesday – 4 miles easy – treadmill. Had a crazy busy day planned, so I turned to the treadmill for an easy 4. Also, it was -14, so, yeah, I’m not going to complain about the treadmill miles.
Wednesday – 9 miles – treadmill hill workout (avg 8:28). My training plan called for an 8-15k tuneup race, but I just couldn’t fit that in this week. And it would’ve been a time trial anyway, since there are no races to run here. So I substituted a hill workout from McMillan on the treadmill. Dare I say this was actually a little bit fun? It was hard, but not crazy hard, and the variety helped the time go by super fast. After a couple miles to warm up, I did 6 sets of the following:
- 90 seconds @ 6 percent grade and marathon pace
- 1-minute recovery @ flat jog
- 1 minute @ 7 percent grade and marathon pace
- 2-minute recovery @ flat jog
Then for the last 3 miles I used Salty’s rule of 5 and just progressively got faster until I was at 7:40 for the last few minutes. I liked this workout waaaay better than the 5 mile time trial a few weeks ago!
Thursday – 11 miles on the indoor track. Sing it with me….99 minutes of laps on the track, 99 minutes of laps, you get one done, swear that it’s fun, 98 minutes of laps on the track! I’m trying to mix up the training surfaces to the extent that I can, and wanted a break from the treadmill. It had just snowed, so the streets and trails weren’t groomed, even though it had “warmed up” to above zero. So I went to a 200m indoor track at an old hangar on the base that has been turned into a Crossfit gym. I ran by time so I didn’t have to lose my mind counting 88 laps. You might even say I ran circles around the Crossfitters. Ahem. Anyway, this was a nice change of scenery, even though it was a far cry from a lovely trail run.
Friday – 16 miles – OUTSIDE!! So this was supposed to be a 17 miler, but I decided to just run for the amount of time that 17 would take me under normal conditions. Because 2 1/2 hours of running in 16 degree weather on a snowy trail is enough effort, don’t ya think? Let me just say that it was gorgeous times twenty, and totally worth all the bundling up I had to do. (I swear it took me a half hour to get myself together and out the door). It thankfully wasn’t too icy, but the only road/path that was decently groomed with a thin layer of snow was only about 3/4 mile long. So I just ran out and back and out and back and….well, you get the idea. After three straight weeks of long runs on the treadmill (totaling 55 miles!), this was exactly what I needed. And the views weren’t half bad either!
Total: 48 miles. 14 weeks down, 4 more to go until marathon day!