Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day everyone! I hope everyone that has today off is enjoying it!
This was a good week for me–ran in all kinds of weather and I feel like I ran really well for it. This week marked my first time setting foot on a dreadmill this winter, my first mentally-strong 18 mile run ever and some solid speed sessions.
Monday – 30 min yoga + abs + Rudy walk
2nd week in a row I practiced some yoga! My legs were spent after my 16 miler last week, so yoga was mucho needed. It was a nice, easy day.
Tuesday – 4 miles, 7:54 avg
It started snowing Monday night, but we weren’t supposed to get very much snow at all. Well…I woke up on Tuesday morning to a serious Winter Wonderland. About 3 inches of snow on the ground, and it was coming down steadily. I didn’t have the time to get out to a treadmill, so I suited up and took to the streets.
For running in the snow (the streets and sidewalks had not yet been plowed), I’m surprised by my pace. Running in snow is not much different than running in sand. Perhaps besides the fact that it’s more slippery.
Wednesday – 7 treadmill miles, 8:20 avg
I knew the streets were going to be omg icy Wednesday morning at 5 am, so I took to the treadmill for the first time. I brought my ipad, set myself up with “Friends” and zoned out for an hour. Towards the end of my run, some guys from NAZ Elite got on either side of me and that wasn’t at all intimidating. Their legs move so fast!
I kept the treadmill at 1% incline and had the belt moving at an 8:13 pace, so I’m not really sure how I got an 8:20 avg, but whatever. Miles logged.
Thursday – 9 miles, 8:04avg
Thursday morning my head just wasn’t in it. I knew I had to get my miles in, but finding a route for 9 miles, in the dark and cold is hard. I have to be very aware of where I’m running and figuring out if the area is well lit. Flagstaff is an International Dark City, so we have much fewer streetlights + they’re dimmed, so finding a 9 mile long, well lit route, is not easy. But, I did it. To keep myself interested, I threw some Fartlek work in. 1 mile hard by 1 mile easy x20. The avg pace of that work was 7:52.
Friday – 5 miles easy, 8:18 avg
I ran after work in Sedona on Friday. Jeff was going to be preoccupied with Jeep work, so I knew if I got home later than usual it wouldn’t be a big deal. Plus it was another 16* morning and I just didn’t have it in me. I did the same rolling hill route as I did last week, but just let myself run. I didn’t pay attention to pace or time, just effort, and enjoyed the views around me.
Saturday – NTC workout, 30 min + abs
Strength day! Squats, lunges, push-ups and ab work. It was a good one.
Sunday – 18 miles, 7:59 avg
This run was AH-MAZ-ING. In every single training cycle I’ve ever run, 18 miles is notoriously the most difficult one for me to finish. It’s the mental block. Anything under 18 miles, easy. After completing 18 miles? 20 and 22 don’t seem so bad. But 18 is the hardest. It’s the slowest, the most frustrating run of my training cycle. Yesterday I set out knowing I wanted to run it as strong as I could. I wanted to play with speed, and set out to run 10 miles at MGP. Well, that turned out to be 10 miles at sub-MGP (ran at an avg of 7:45 min/mil) and then ran my other 8 pretty consistently at 8:25ish.
I broke up the run as follows:
1 mile warm-up
5 miles at MGP (or faster)
3 miles easy
5 miles at MGP (or faster)
I’m pretty sure breaking it up like that helped me avoid hitting any kind of wall. I wasn’t focused on finishing 18 miles, I was focused on finishing the section I was running. The last four miles were the toughest. My hip was starting to tighten up and I just wanted to be done already. But, if the hardest part of that whole run was 4 miles at the very end? I’m taking that as a serious victory.
Total mileage: 43 miles
The mental game is always the hardest for me. This was a serious boost for me. Knowing that I can run hard and fast that late into the run, when already running hard was a serious confidence booster. I’m excited to push myself during the 20 miler and 22 miler, and run Phoenix hard in a few weeks!
This next week is a step-back week. I’m going to really focus on letting my body recover and get ready to tackle the next two weeks (peak weeks!) before taper. Mileage will be lower and slower, which I’ll most definitely need. Plus I close at work most of this week, so I won’t have as many early mornings, which will be very nice!
How was your running week? Do you have a distance that’s normally a barrier for you?