Sunday, September 13, 2015

The 15th of 18 Weeks

The fifteenth week of the marathon training plan went like this:

Monday12-13k E. After a bad night of sleep due to allergies (awake and sneezing at 3am, not able to really get back to sleep after that) I got up at 6:30am and was out the door at 7am. Legs felt tired and stiff, which was interesting as the day before I felt like they were recovering a bit. In any case, I managed a relatively easy 13k E at 5:27/km based mostly on keeping the effort nice and even. Did an out and back to avoid the big climb back to the lake, but still faced a decent amount of hilly running, though most were gradual. Then we drove home in order to be back in time for a baseball game for one of the boys in which I was pinch coaching.

Tuesday3x2 miles. Humidity continued to be a factor as I woke up to the sound of rain on the skylights, which always amplify the drops and makes it sound worse than it is. After waking up at 5:20am and going downstairs I checked the temperature, which was already 25C by the time I got out the door at 5:45am. Jogging the first two kilometres for a warm up was a bit of a joke due to the heat and I was sweating from every pore by the time the warm up was done. Then in the first third of the first of three 2 mile repeats the rains came pouring down something fierce! It's only rained on me a few times during this marathon training block and it's always happened on a Tuesday. This time I was soaked within seconds and the rains did not abate until I was well into the 800m rest interval after my first repeat. I tried to keep things nice and loose, but got into my 3-2 breathing pattern right away for this workout. On the second repeat I made it about two thirds of the way before I had to switch to 2-2 breathing and my legs began to feel like lead. The third repeat was pretty much the same as the second except the legs were cooked by the halfway point. In the end I averaged 4:20.26/km (4:18.03/km, 4:21.94/km, and 4:20.81/km were the repeat averages), which I was very pleased with given the humidity and rain and the extra weight I had to carry in the form of soaked clothes and shoes. The total for the run was 16k ST at 5:17/km. In the afternoon I went to the gym for a full rolling and stretching routine, which was sorely needed.

Wednesday: OFF. Another well deserved day OFF wherein I felt very tired and my legs had no gas at all in them. I did go to the gym for a strength training session and a decent amount of rolling and stretching, but that was all.

Thursday16k T. Switching things up for the first time in this entire training block I decided to make this a Long pace run and managed 20k at 4:51/km. The reason is that I signed up for a Half Marathon and wanted to run that at goal marathon pace (see Sunday below). This morning's run, in any case, was very good. Nice and controlled, running within myself the entire time. It's nice to run this way, breathing 3-3 the entire time, and glance down at the Garmin and see that the pace is way faster than you thought you'd ever be able to manage at this level of effort. Definitely helped that the heat broke overnight and the humidity dissipated. It was a near perfect 15C when I went out at 5:22am for the run. Only issue was a painful stomach for some reason as I had stuff in there that just wasn't sitting right. In the afternoon I managed a good rolling and stretching session at the gym.

Friday10-12k E. My alarm didn't go off for some reason so I was out a bit later than expected. However, the lovely cooler temperatures are so nice to run in the later exit didn't really matter as it never got hot or humid during my 10k E at 5:18/km. Only issue was the stomach was still feeling off. I wonder what's going on there as I really haven't had problems all year in that regard. In the afternoon I managed to get to the gym for some strength training, rolling, and stretching.

Saturday10-13k E. Had to get up earlier than I'd want to on a very rainy morning to get this run in on account of other commitments that were on my calendar. One of those commitments conflicted with another, and it was a baseball game that I was to coach at which we were to arrive by 8:30am. So I ran up by the field, conveniently about 5km away, just to check on the conditions. It was a muddy disaster so I figured that freed me for that other commitment. Either way, my morning was going to be busy. The run itself was nice and easy, though I felt lethargic and my legs felt heavier than they should have. I had woken up at 3am and did not get back to sleep after that so I'm inclined to believe that this is the reason behind my feeling so tired. In any case, I managed 10k E at 5:10/km and felt somewhat prepared to tackle that Temp Run in the Half Marathon the next day.

Sunday26k L. This day was always going to be a bit of an experiment as well as a test. I wanted to see how marathon pace would feel at this stage in the plan so I moved the Tempo run from Thursday to Sunday and signed up for a local Half Marathon. Although the plan called for a 16k Tempo run I wanted to stretch this to the HM distance if possible. I woke up, had a bagel, then jogged the 5km down to the starting line, running into a friend who was running the Full on the way and sharing the last 3km of the warm up run with him. Then after a few minutes the race started and I was off. Early on there was quite a bit of weaving through traffic, but after about a kilometre things loosened up a bit and I was able to run more freely. I found it interesting that if I was just behind another runner I would naturally match their pace and on several occasions I had to really concentrate to both not slow down or speed up unintentionally. I kept things very even and didn't really start hurting at any point, though at the half way point I had visions of calling it at 16k and slowing to easy pace for the remainder of the race. I did not do this and I have another runner to thank for pulling me along. He passed me with about 9k to go and I hung onto him for the rest of the race as he was running the exact pace that I wanted to run. In the end I managed the HM in 1:36:39 unofficially, which translated to a pace of 4:34.87/km. The average for all my Tempo runs to date has been 4:34.80/km so this was just about perfect! After the race I jogged 2k to cool down and managed a total of 28.1k T at 4:50.80/km. This also marked the last Long run of the training plan, which is also nice. I have made it through fifteen weeks never missing a run and hitting all my paces pretty much bang on!

Total for the week: 97.1 km at 5:04.12/km average pace.

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