Seven weeks ago, I had never run more than 50 miles in a week. Now, in the past seven weeks I have run 50 miles or more five times, topping out at 57 miles last week for a new personal weekly mileage record.
And I am so happy that it is over! I am beat and more than ready for my taper.
Here’s a preview of how it played out:
One hard workout on Tuesday, a 5k race on Saturday and a 22 mile long run on Sunday? I still can’t believe I was able to pull it off.
I started the week with my standard 6 mile Monday morning recovery run. I look forward to these runs! They are a great, relaxed way to start the week.
Then on Tuesday, I did a 2 mi. warm up, 30 minutes at threshold pace and a 2 mi. cool down for 8.5 miles in total. The threshold part worked out to be a 6:37 pace, at the high end of the 6:24 to 6:40 range recommended by McMillan based on my half marathon time. Guess what? It felt hard!
I got in another recovery run on Wednesday, and a 15k general aerobic run (7:51/mi. average) on Thursday, before resting up on Friday for the 5k.
Saturday started out fine. It was cool, but not cold. I had my typical pre-race peanut butter on toast with banana and headed to the start and ran an easy 1 mile warm up and a few strides.
The race started…and my watch was totally out of whack and I let it get into my head. We ran down 42nd St. in Manhattan—a notoriously bad area for GPS data—and my watch had me at a 5:10 pace. I knew it couldn’t be accurate (I was going fast, but not that fast), but I decided I should play it safe and I reined it in.
As it turns out, I reined it in too much, coming through the first mile mark a solid 15 seconds behind my goal pace. My second mile was okay, but the third, which had a decent number of hills, slipped again.
I ended up finishing in 19:34, about 19 seconds slower than I was hoping. I’m a little bummed out about it, but it is still a PR.
The thing about it is that my 5K result predicts a slower marathon time than my Staten Island Half result. That probably shouldn’t psyche me out (particularly since the SI Half is the longer race…), but I would be lying if I said it didn’t.
The rational part of my brain knows that I didn’t taper for the 5K, that I didn’t do any 5K specific training, and that 15 weeks of cumulative fatigue is no laughing matter, but the irrational side of my brain counters that if I can’t hold it together for three miles, how can I expect to hit my goal over 26 miles?
To redeem myself, I tried to follow up with a good effort in the 22 mile training run less than 24 hours later. At least I was able to do that. I covered that distance in 2:51:03 for an average pace of 7:46. All in, that was 2 minutes and 6 seconds slower than my 22 miler two weeks ago, but I think I lost most of that time in my first mile, so I feel pretty good about that.
All in, I ran 57 miles over 7 hours and 29 minutes, roughly a 7:53 min/mile pace. Not too shabby.
Now, it is time to start tapering…