I'm still in a bit of shock to realize there's only 5 weeks 'til CIM. Kind of surreal.
This week, I decided to modify my approach for the marathon. You know, switch training plans with 5 weeks left before the race. Totally smart, right?
Okay, not smart at all. But, I feel much better about my plans than I did before and sometimes you just have to go with your gut.
This week was a bit light, with only 27.66 miles total.
But, in addition to some quick speedwork at 7:30/mi pace and a return to Bikram, I got in a *great* 15-miler on Sunday. The first 5 miles I did with L, at a nice 10:17 average. The remaining 10 were tough and included quite a bit of climbing. I did them at an 11:50 average pace, which sounds quite bad, but when I look at the elevation profile and factor in that I fit in a very slow very steep uphill mile at 13:23, I'm actually quite pleased. I hit the track to check on my fitness/effort for mile 12 and kept myself at an even 10:05 -- slower than I'd like, but I'll take it, considering the 11 miles of work before it. The biggest thing this run did for me was feel good and even for a long run without a dying *need* to rest. Very few stops, and all of them quick (1 pit stop at L's house after mile 5, a quick walk-break for fuel at mile 6.5, and a quick stop to buy a lemonade to re-fill my water bottle at mile 8.5, and a stop to re-fill my water bottle at mile 12).
The average whole-run pace of 11:19? Given the hills and the fact that some walking went into that calculation, I'm pleased. In contrast, last weekend's 17-miler was slower overall, was almost entirely flat, and pushing through for the last 5 miles was a serious mental struggle against the "oh, why don't you just walk" monster.
On this weekend last year, I did 12.63 up and down the hills of Sawyer
Camp Trail (200 more feet of climbing than yesterday) at an average pace of 10:46 including about 5 minutes of walk/fuel breaks in the
calculation. Also that was in some scorching heat, whereas yesterday's run was lovely and cool in the morning. In other words, I'm not in as good of shape as last year.
This may be why I'm more excited for this week's running and workout plans than I have been in a while. With my modifications, I've got my first 40+ mile week, and I'm excited about it. I've got some "just because" run days, a 20-miler (that incorporates the US Half to check my fitness), mile repeats, and my weekly run with E where we'll push to hit the 2.25 mark before taking a break. By this time next week, I should have a very reasonable set of CIM goals.