Friday, October 2, 2015

The 18th of 18 Weeks (up to the race)

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

Monday8-10k E. On a drizzly, but rather humid, morning I went out in the dark to check on the tired legs and dodge the idiot cyclists on the sidewalks. This was a solid Easy run wherein I managed 10k E at 5:03/km, but more importantly was able to avoid injury from bikers who happened to think that the sidewalk was theirs and theirs alone to use. As a daily cyclist I am offended by the attitude of these people thinking that they are in the right forcing me to move out of THEIR way more so than by the fact that they are on the sidewalk in the first place. You sometimes just have to shake your head. In the afternoon I went to the gym for a bunch of rolling and stretching and some sauna. No strength training this week. All that work's been done...

Tuesday8k E. On a very humid morning, especially for late September, I tried my best to assist my legs in recovering from the previous seventeen weeks of training by running as easy as possible. I succeeded in my goal of running easy, managing 8k E at 5:17/km, but in the leg recovery department I am still nowhere close to feeling fresh. When on earth will I start to feel like my legs are "ready to go"?!?! Argh... At lunch time I went to the gym to roll and stretch some more.

Wednesday: OFF. Took the day OFF except for going to the gym for rolling and stretching. Still worried that the legs will not be sufficiently recovered in time for the race...

Thursday10k E. On the chilliest morning since before the Summer I went out for another test of the old legs and managed a nice 10k E at 4:57/km. The legs still did not feel fresh, but there was a glimmer of hope in that my average pace at an easy effort was faster than usual. In particular, starting up after having to pause at a couple of red lights felt good. A hint of a spring in the step was experienced, but it soon dissipated. At lunch time I went again to the gym to roll and stretch.

Friday10k E. Woke up at 5:30 and would have normally ignored the tired feeling in my legs and have gone out for the prescribed run. However, two days out from my goal race I decided that if I was ever to miss a run, and having not missed a single one in the entire training plan that started on June 1st, this would be a good one to miss. Biking into work just served to reinforce that I'd made the right decision as my legs had a little bit more pep to them than they'd had since forever. In the end the guilt associated with taking this day OFF is mitigated by the hope that on race day I will have those extra few reserves of energy in my legs that will propel me through the toughest stretch of the marathon. At lunch I went to the gym for an abbreviated rolling and stretching session followed by the sauna just because it feels nice! Later in the day I had a one hour massage to get the legs really loosened up.

Saturday5k E. Slept in for the first time that I can remember and went out for an easy run fretting about the nasty wind coming out of the East. If this persists it will mean that I will have to run straight into the wind for the majority of the race! Oh well, can't control that I suppose. The run itself was interesting in that my legs still don't feel like I thought they would or should at this point in the training. However, my pace for the run was much faster than what I felt like I was accomplishing based on perceived effort and the tiredness of the legs. I managed 5k E at 4:44/km and half of it was into the wind. I've decided to try and not let any of this stuff bother me as the training is all done and I should be prepared to run a strong race. It's always a bit of a nerve wracking experience I suppose when one enters an event with self-imposed expectations, but at this point there is nothing else that can be done and I must place my trust in the plan and all of the good training that I was able to accomplish over the past 18 weeks. It's go time!

Total for the week: 33 km at 5:02.09/km average pace.

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