Sunday, September 27, 2015

The 17th of 18 Weeks

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

Monday12-13k E. Starting off the second last week of the marathon training plan I managed a well executed easy run and was rewarded with a spectacular sunrise. The total for the day was 13k E at 5:21/km and things are definitely starting to feel like the end is near. I am already a bit nervous that I somehow haven't done enough, but the summaries that I've put up here should help remind me of all the work that was put in. At least that's the theory.

Tuesday6x1 mile. The last Strength session of the training plan was made somewhat uncomfortable as I had totally overeaten the night before and the food had not exactly worked its way through by the time I hit the road at 5:45am. Other than that this session was good, though I think I still ran it too fast. The first two repeats were ok as the average paces ended up at 4:17.62/km and 4:13.38/km. After that I pulled off four splits at an average pace that was supposed to have been my Speed pace: 4:10.46/km, 4:07.91/km, 4:08.31/km, and 4:07.38/km. The average pace for all the repeats ended up being 4:10.84/km, and since 4:10/km was supposed to have been my Speed pace one can see why I think I may have run this workout too fast. Nevertheless, it's done, I'm healthy, and I only have one more Something of Substance run left before the marathon. The total for the run was 16k ST at 5:07/km. During the day I managed to get to the gym for a rolling and stretching session.

Wednesday: OFF. Another crazy day at work, but I continue to carve out time to get to the gym despite the pressures that continue to build at an alarming rate. No running, so it was an OFF day on the calendar, but I did manage an abbreviated strength training routine followed by rolling and stretching. This week, instead of the usual three times through a circuit that is comprised of running specific strength and stability exercises, I cut it down to two circuits only. At this point it's full on maintenance mode only.

Thursday16k T. The last tough run of the 18 week training plan was tough to be sure, and more importantly it was completed despite the tired legs and lack of sleep that tends to come with coaching basketball the night before making it difficult for me to wind down and fall asleep. This Tempo run was very difficult in the late stages and I had to keep telling myself to fight the urge to stop, especially in the last 4k. I managed the 16k Tempo portion at an average pace of 4:29.83/km and the final tally for the average of all my tempo runs ended up at 4:33.98/km. Since the 5k race foretold that my marathon pace should have been 4:45/km I clearly blew that prediction out of the water. It remains to be seen how I manage on race day, but these numbers are way better than I could possibly have hoped for back on June 1st when this journey began. The total for the day was 20k T at 4:41/km. At lunch time I went to the gym for a good session of rolling and stretching and a sauna at the end.

Friday10-12k E. First easy run of the official taper period was just that, easy. The legs were surprisingly dead and this wasn't all that great an effort in terms of how it felt, but given that it was just the first run of the last ten days leading up to the race I was not too worried about it. I managed the 10k E at 5:21/km and that's pretty much all there was to say about this run. At lunch time I went to the gym for another abbreviated strength training session followed by rolling and stretching.

Saturday10-13k E. With the legs still feeling anything but fresh I ran a faster than anticipated easy run on another beautiful morning. The way I felt from the waist down I was surprised by the average pace that I was able to manage: 10k E at 5:01/km. Recognizing that the marathon is still a week away at this point I shouldn't be filled with worries about how my legs will recover, but one has to wonder at what point in the taper period (which only lasts 10 days under the Hanson Marathon Method) the legs begin to feel refreshed. Time will tell...

Sunday13k E. For some strange reason my legs simply do not want to recover. As I headed out for the last Sunday run before the marathon my hip flexors and groin on both legs were so sore it was a bit of a struggle walking up the stairs! What on earth did I do to make my legs feel like this!? After now seventeen weeks of training this happens? Crappy. In any case, I still ran a nice easy 13k E at 5:05/km and felt that, despite the sore legs, this was somehow a good indication that even when my body doesn't feel recovered I'm still running at a faster pace than I think I am based on effort.

And with 17 of 18 weeks in the books, having completed every single run on the training plan and hitting all my paces every time, I should feel confident going into the race that I am prepared. However, the truth is somewhat opposite as I do not have the confidence at the moment that I though I would earn through this much dedication and success in training. I am hoping that at the end of the coming week, before I run the race, I can report that not only have my legs recovered, but that my confidence has returned as well.

Total for the week: 82 km at 5:03.72/km average pace.

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