I enjoyed week 6 of training for the NYC Marathon. I did my speed work this week while watching the sun rise along Lakeshore Drive in Chicago. I stumbled into a way to immediately boost my easy pace, running more than a dozen strides on my driveway. And I felt a sense of accomplishment after toughing it through a 21 mile training run in 81 degree weather. My training paces are still somewhat slower than I would like them to be (they feel slower but are different than my last training cycle). But I am hoping to gradually increase the intensity of my runs and be on target with my paces during the September and October, when the weather is cooler. Here are the day-to-day details of my week:
Monday: 6.6 beautiful easy miles at sunrise, split among trails, road and track. (9:43 avg/153 bpm). Really enjoyed this run.
Tuesday: 8.6 miles, including 5×1200 w/400 rest. I was traveling in Chicago for work on my planned speed day, and treated myself to a run along Lakeshore Drive. I knew I would not be able to run my 5k or even 10k pace while staying on the course and dodging other runners in 73 degree weather, so I set out with the goal of running the intervals at marathon pace. My actual paces turned out to be: 8:13, 8:06, 8:06, 7:42, 8:00. Somewhat slower than I had hoped until I warmed up and loosened up, but I really loved this run; it was a spiritual experience.
Wednesday: 9.1 easy miles on trail and road. (9:34 avg pace/156 bpm)
Thursday: 8.04 miles, with 3.5 at 7:54 avg pace (170 bpm). My workout called for 7 miles at goal marathon pace, which I had planned to run in 2×3.5 miles with a 1:00 water break. I ran the first 3.5 miles at a 7:54 avg pace, feeling strong and speeding up just before my break. But in the last half mile, my quad started to bother me and I lost body confidence worrying that if I pushed the pace, my quad would hurt too much to finish the 21 mile run I had planned for Saturday. So I ran another 3 miles at 8:27 (164 bpm), a pace that felt comfortable and safe.
Thursday PM: 3 miles in my yard and driveway, running strides along the paved part and easy along the grass and trail, which make for a long recovery. I must have run 20 strides — great fun, and I progressively cut my pace down from 7:00 to as fast as 5:30 (for a few seconds)! The exercise helped me realize that I needed to run “taller” in order to be more efficient, and I saw an immediate bump in my running pace for the same effort the following day.
Friday: 7.29 easy miles on trail and road (9:18 avg pace/156 bpm), then 1 mile with about 10 strides on my driveway. Running on the same surfaces and with the same effort level as Wednesday, but with the boost from strides, I ran 16 seconds per mile faster!
Saturday: 21 miles (9:06 avg pace/160 bpm) in New York’s Central Park. One of my goals for this training cycle has been to run some longer long runs, up to close to the time that it takes to run a marathon, on the hope that I would not fade so badly in the final miles. This month’s run sponsored by the New York Road Runners seemed like a good one for the “Long Slow Distance” as the weather was forecast to hit 81 degrees during the run, so I knew not to expect much from myself on the speed front. I ran the 2.5 miles from my NYC apartment to the starting line and joined the 9:00 per mile pacing group. The group took off at an exuberant 8:10 pace running up a large hill, and completed the first 6 mile loop of the park at an 8:45 average pace. While my average heart rate of 166 was well below the 182 average that I raced my last marathon, it felt too hard in the heat and I had constant thoughts of quitting. But rather than throwing in the towel, I took a short break, joined the next slower group and settled in comfortably running just over 9 minute miles. I was able to make and converse with runner friends, and started to enjoy myself. The miles clicked by. I ran my 18th mile at an 8:49 pace and felt strong from there to the finish at my apartment. I felt like a bada–! Best of all, neither my cranky achilles nor plantar fasciitis reared their ugly heads during or after this run. I savored a feeling of success as I read “Older Faster Stronger” and drifted into a long nap.
Sunday: 4.6 recovery miles with Deena doggy (12:02 avg pace/126 bpm), then 2 miles on the treadmill at the gym (10:00 pace/130 bpm), followed by 1 hour of deadlifts and other core, strength and coordination work, followed by a 1 hour nap.
Weekly total: 71.2 miles, 11 hrs 11 mins aerobic time on feet, strength and core work, 2 naps
How was your training week?