Okay, folks, it’s getting to be that time. Last week was my last high mileage week and since the marathon to end all marathons (at least for me) is less than four weeks away, I really don’t have any more time to fool around. So I’m just going to give it to you straight. Do you want the good news first or the bad news? The good news is I got all my scheduled miles in this week, all 54 miles of them. Wahoo! The bad….well, you’re just going to have to read ‘til the end to find out!
Week #14 (3/23-3/29)
What I Planned:
Marathon Paced Run: 14 miles at 6:52 pace
Recovery Run: 6 miles at easy pace
Tempo Run: 9 total miles with 6 miles at 6:22 pace
Weekend Long Run: 21 miles at long run pace
Recovery Run: 4 miles at easy pace
What I Ran:
How I Ran:
Total week 14 distance planned: 54 miles
What I Ran:
Tues – Marathon Paced Run: 13.1 miles at 6:49 pace
Tues – Cooldown Jog: 1.6 miles at 7:23 pace
Wed – Recovery Run: 7.7 miles at 7:00 pace
Thu – Treadmill Tempo Run: 9.1 miles with 6 miles at 6:19 pace
Sat – Weekend Long Run: 21.2 miles at 7:37 pace
Sun – Recovery Run: 3.0 miles at 7:11 pace
Total week 14 distance: 55.7 miles; avg pace – 7:10 min/mi
How I Ran:
Well, if you remember from where we left off last (If you don’t, I can’t blame you, I had to look back a few times myself because even though it was only a week ago, it seems so very long ago in retrospect), I had just come back from an injury-plaqued week to run a PR in a 15K race almost unintentionally. Although I was not bothered at all that day by my tight right hammy, it was still fresh on my mind as I set on Tuesday for my marathon-paced long workout Unfortunately, I made 2 mistakes that day that destroyed my run. The first was that I had a late greasy lunch and headed out almost immediately after. The second was that because I was so anxious to test out my hammy and set a good pace early on, I ran way too fast in the first downhill mile. My breathing became labored, I developed stomach cramps and it became a physical struggle just to get through the workout. Eventually, I ended up at 1:29:41 (avg 6:49 pace) for 13.1 miles, which is a far cry from the 1:28:13 (avg 6:43 pace) I had done for the same distance 12 days prior. I was somewhat disappointed by this result but sought solace in the fact that my right hammy strain was really a non-factor throughout.
After a late night recovery run the next day necessitated by another patient emergency at 4pm (Why do these always seem to happen in late afternoons?) where I found myself at one point racing a raccoon down Harlem Hill, it was again time for another hard speedy Thursday workout. If you notice, this was my third straight run in as many days, which is something I really don’t advocate but because this was high mileage week, I really had no choice. My right knee felt a bit gimpy over the past couple of days (perhaps from overcompensating for that pulled hamstring) so I was a bit relieved to see that it was actually raining all day, meaning my tempo run would be done on the treadmill instead. of on the road. Although the human hamster wheel totally chewed me up and spat me out that night, grossing out all the unsuspecting ladies doing their pretend light cardio on the machines next to me, I still hit my paces dead on and successfully completed the workout.
The 21 miler on Saturday was really a combination of two runs for me. Because I wanted to prevent further injury and run a bit slower that day, I decided to at least start the run with my running group, the NY Flyers. Unfortunately, less than a half mile into the run, when I dropped back to take a quick bathroom break, I prompted lost everyone and couldn’t find them again. Luckily, because the group leader had handed out pre-printed directions just in case of that exact scenario, I was able to find my own way and eventually found them again up in the depths of Inwood, about 8 miles into the run. For the next four miles, I ran with different people within the group, all running paces that were much slower than mine. I sacrificed a lot of speed during this stretch for the social aspect of running which I like. Unfortunately, this was also my last long run before Boston, so I really didn’t want to run so slowly for the full duration. So after I caught up a bit with everyone and made plans with several to meet up for brunch after the run, I sped up and found my own way back to the park. By the time I got back to the Boathouse in Central Park, I had done 12.2 miles with the group at 8:05 average pace and 8.9 miles on my own at 7:00 average pace. I was extremely sore after the run but was glad just to have finished strong.
The real damage from everything didn’t hit me until the day after, when I woke up Sunday with deep searing pain in my left lower calf. Ah yes, I nodded to myself. It was the reappearance of an old friend whose personality I’ve come to know well. After palpating and confirming that yes, it was indeed the old familiar Achilles’ tendonitis rearing it’s ugly head, I got up, limped around and went about my chores for the morning. I figured a little movement would ease the tension and satisfy the cry for attention, but by the time the early afternoon came and my calf still hadn’t resolved its differences with the Achilles, I wondered if even a slow recovery run would prove beneficial. So I waited and waited. Yes, I should go, it’d help. No, I shouldn’t, it’d wouldn’t help. Yes, I should because I’m 2 miles short of my goal. No, I shouldn’t because I have a speed workout planned for tomorrow. I was locked in a mental tug-of-war for several long hours. Eventually, by the late afternoon, while perusing around some running blogs, I saw this, and the decision was made for me.
Honestly, if you even remotely identify yourself as a runner, can you watch this and NOT run? Even if it’s not Kara Goucher, who I’ve met, and is from Queens just like I am, and who ran NYCM ’08 just like I did, and who will be running in BM ’09 just like I will, and who loves to run and compete just like I do (oh yeah, and do I have to mention she’s super cute!)…even if it wasn’t her or you're not a fan, can someone watch this and not believe in the run? Nope, not me. So I did three slow ones close by, up and back down the East River Drive. Despite it being windy and cold, my Achilles held up okay. I didn’t push it at all and slipped it into a bucket of ice the moment I got back. It is still quite sore this morning so I’m probably going to have to take another couple of days off. It’s alright though because it’s taper time! Wahoo! I’m so excited that I’ve made it this far! Now I have every reason to pig out, run just a little and get ready for the biggest and longest block party in the Northeast! Yeah, can you tell I’m bubbling right now! I can hardly wait.
Oh, and by the way, don’t worry about my Achilles. I’m not. It’s an old friend so I know its temperaments well. It will heal itself in due time. Everything will be fine by Boston time. Have a great week everyone!