Hey there, Salty Readers! Yet another big week of training is in the books! Last week I ran 3 hard workouts and a total of 52 miles. I also wound up doing a lot of solo running, which always seems challenging to me. I not gonna lie, going into this training week fresh off an amazing, yet exhausting weekend at Ragnar DC (check out my race report here on my personal blog), plus the high intensity work I put in made this one of tougher training weeks I have encountered in a while. But I lived to tell about it, and now you can read of all my trials and tribulations here in my Salty Running training log…
Monday, 10/7: Easy Double Day, 8 miles. I kicked the training week off with an easy early am 4 with some of my homies from my fabulous Ragnar DC team, #TeamShittens. My apologies to anyone who lives/ sleeps near the greenway trail where we were running, as we spent all four miles making obnoxious Shittens-inspired wisecracks in loud voices, and all of this took place before the sun came up. Oops.
Double Day, part deux was another easy 4 with my lovely little run group at work. The\ose guys are getting so fast. They were very excited to pleasantly surprise themselves with an average pace in the 8:30s, which is pretty darn speedy for them! So proud of those little fasties!
Tuesday, 10/8: Easy Hour on Singletrack, 5 miles. I actually really enjoyed this run, even though I couldn’t help but cringe when I realized it had taken me over an hour to run 5 miles. It was really nice to get off the pavement and onto some lovely trails, and I got to catch up with one of favorite running buddies, so I’ll try not to get too caught up in the numbers.
Wednesday, 10/9: 5x (800m/ 400m) at VO2max pace, 8 miles. Holy balls, guys. This workout was effing hard. When Coach Saffron recommended it I was all like “No big deal, whateves.” And then she sent me there prescribed paces. I kid you not, the numbers for the 800s all started with TWOs!!! I was like “Hell to the no Coach. Homie don’t play that.” But in the end she convinced me to consent to trying it anyway, and I did, and here are the splits… (Goal pace was 2:55 for the 800s and 1:27 for the 400s)
What I actually ran…
2:57/ 1:30, 2:56/ 1:30, 2:56/ 1:26, 3:09 (Derp!)/ 1:27, 2:57/ 1:25
I most certainly had to work my arse off to get those sub 3’s on the 800s. And that nasty little 3:09 split was uphill, as was the 1:27 400 that followed it. I seriously stopped after that one for what I thought would surely be a barf break. Thankfully it was a false alarm, and as I charged into the final set I was grateful that I seemed to have moved on the rally portion of the workout having skipped the puking part altogether.
I was incredibly relieved when all of this was over. Although I didn’t nail the paces exactly, I felt pretty good about how it went and I patted myself on the back for pushing hard and getting out of my comfort zone, especially since this was a solo effort.
Cheers to checking a tough workout off the list, particularly just a few days removed from Ragnar. Just 6 weeks and one more Ragnar until the big goal race!
Thursday, 10/10: What a beautiful, glorious rest day!
Friday, 10/11: 2x 2 miles at LT Pace. 8.5 miles. Wow. My crazy Ragnar weekend and the busy week that has followed are really starting to catch up with me. The training schedule for today called for 2x 2 miles at LT Pace with 2:30 rest in between. I was a little worried when both of my warm miles were in the 9s. I was having a hard time getting psyched up for the workout, and just felt really mentally tired. But when it was time to get to work I managed to come up with 6:37/ 6:28 for the first LT effort, and 6:27/ 6:35 for the 2nd one. It definitely wasn’t easy, but I was relieved to hit the paces and to get it done. The minute I hit the lap button to mark the end of the workout and the beginning of the cool down my pace slipped back into the 9s and stayed there for the remainder of the run. Hopefully I can find a little space in my life to regroup and re-energize for the tough long run that is on tap for Sunday!
Saturday, 10/12: Easy hour. 8 miles. Still feeling a little tired-ish, but not too bad. And we managed to keep the pace quite reasonable, even in the company of everyone’s favorite little pace-pusher, speedy fellow-Salty Saffron. 😉 (Some of our teammates did a really excellent job of holding her accountable to an average pace that started with an eight for the duration of the run.) This run was extra-fun because it started and finished at my favorite donut shop in the world (as my Saturday runs always do!), and because the trail was filled with friendly, familiar faces from various local run clubs and training groups. Man, I love Saturday runs during marathon season!
Sunday, 10/13: The Hardest Long Run Ever, 14 miles. Well this run did not go the way I had envisioned it at all. First of all, I was late. And not just the Wasabi standard 5 to 7 minutes late. No. I straight up hit the snooze button on the alarm and didn’t hear it go off again until 6:30, which was coincidentally the time that we had set to meet for our run. Balls. This was not the foot on which I had hoped to start my long run day.
Since I was nearly 20 minutes late, my running buddies had already done a couple of warm up miles by the time I arrived. Also, they are just straight up way faster than me, so I struggled from the get-go both to feel awake/ alive and to keep up.
I had been feeling daunted by this run all week. 1:45 with 40 EFFING MINUTES at half marathon pace. God help me. I had told myself that it would be fine, because my fastie friends would be there to pace me and get me through it, but things just weren’t working out that way.
After a warm-up that felt way too fast to me, I managed to make it through 4 miles/ 30 minutes with following splits: 6:44, 6:42, 7:03, and 6:49. Physically I felt pretty ok-ish, but mentally I just couldn’t get my brain to buy into the idea of 10 more minutes at this pace. Furthermore, I had no hope of coming anywhere close to keeping up with the fasties. Of course I didn’t hold this against them, and I suppose I should have expected it in the first place, but today getting dropped just felt a little more demoralizing than usual. I think my brain and body were just pooped from last weekend’s wacky sleeping, eating, and running schedule, as well as the 2 other hard workouts I’ve done this week.
When I hit 30 minutes of working effort my pace started to slow, even though my RPE felt as high as ever. So I gave up. I threw in the towel. I pulled the plug on the workout portion of the run. Of course this lasted for all of 5 minutes, before I decided that I was both recovered enough and pissed enough at myself to finish up the final 10 minutes at goal pace. I busted out another mile and a half or so around 6:40 pace and then cooled it down back to the car.
It was hard and I was oh-so- glad when it was over, but considering the crazy frazzled start to my day and all the other hard stuff I’ve done this week, I suppose it didn’t turn out too badly. I just wish I were a little bit tougher mentally. Ah well, here’s to better long runs next week!
Until then, happy trails and happy training to all!