I thought I would do another little catch-up with training logs and see if I can be a bit more regular with them in the coming weeks. When we left off, I was getting ready to race the Philadelphia half marathon, which I did, running it in 1:45:14. I ran the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving five days later with a good friend I hadn’t seen in a long time. Then it was time to shift gears and start the 10K Project, which I am only somewhat facetiously subtitling: Dangerous at Any Distance!
I’ve never explicitly trained for anything shorter than a half marathon and I’m coming off of two years racing a marathon about every six months. I love the marathon, really, really love it. But I want to run a fast marathon and High Power Running Mentor #1 kept insisting that training for shorter distances would help. The folks at the Rogue Running podcast say the same thing. Coach Mick is not one to dictate goals to other people but when I asked his opinion, he said: “HPRM#1 and RR are not wrong about that idea.” So, as I wrote way back in September, I opted out of Boston 2020 in favor of a spring spent working on the 10K distance. In December, it was finally time to put that plan into action!
In the last month, I’ve run a lot of fast (for me) 200s, quite a few tempo miles, and more strides than I care to count. My weekly schedule has been fairly similar to what it’s been for a long time:
Wednesday: easy run plus weights
Thursday: easy run or tempo
Friday: easy run or tempo
Saturday: easy run plus weights
Sunday: long run
The main differences have been that long runs have not been more than 12 miles, track work is faster and shorter, and the near perpetual presence of strides. Coach Mick also cranked my tempo pace down a notch, post-Chicago.
Week of December 16
Monday – Swim
Tuesday – Speed Intervals
2 miles easy, 4x400m at 1:40, 400 jog recovery, 8x200m in 50 seconds for the first 6, 48 seconds for the last 2, easy 200m jog recovery, 1 mile cool down.
I had to do this workout on the treadmill because we were having a lovely little ice storm. It took me forever to get up the nerve to go start this sucker and it was really hard. I walked a lot of the recovery portions. But: BOOM! I also did it! The treadmill is a fucking uncompromising monster, but I did not fly off the back! At least not today.
Miscalculated and ended up running 10 miles instead of 8. Absolutely gorgeous out with lots of sun on the ice. Running felt like dog shit after yesterday but I once again finished the run without calling an Uber.
Thursday – 4 miles easy, plus weights
Ran on the treadmill at the gym because it’s so freaking cold and I couldn’t deal with changing clothes an extra time. New weights routine, which I love!
Friday – Easy run with hill work
10 miles total, 5 easy and then 7×2 minutes running uphill at 5K effort, jog back down, finish to complete 10 miles.
This was crazy hard. Work and kid schedules meant I had to do this at lunch, which I hate. Also, running hills alone is so much worse than running them with a friend. But, got it done.
Saturday – 6 miles plus 6×20 sec strides, then weights
Ran outside but felt super sloggy. Strides helped bust off the rust. I love to lift and I’m enjoying the nice warm gym!
I was grouchy this week. It’s so early, so dark, so cold. Why am I doing this? Thank goodness for Pokey, who ran with me. We laughed at the utter absurdity of the undertaking. Then we also managed those fast four miles! That was awesome.
Weekly total: 47 miles
Week of December 23
Monday – Swim
2400 yards, most of Ice Day Workout
Ran some early miles with Squirrel and then joined Early Bird for her traditional Christmas Eve run and brunch. This was great. Wonderful time with friends before the holiday insanity.
Wednesday – 8 miles easy, plus strides
Beautiful weather, decent run, realized near the end I had eaten nothing but coffee cake and champagne. Oops.
Thursday – 4 miles easy, 2 miles at 7:30-7:40, then 8×20 sec strides
Ran with Teacher Runner and Squirrel. I am getting offered “the deal” a lot during tempo miles right now. Coach Mick says this is Howie Mandel from the old show, “Let’s Make A Deal.” I used to try to drive Howie away. He’s perching on my shoulder a lot these days so I’m telling him he can show up, but he has to run with me. Tempo miles at 7:47, 7:34. Happy with that.
Friday – Tempo Run
2 mile warm up, 2 miles at 7:30-7:45, 1 mile easy, 5×2 min at 7:00-7:10 w/2 min jog recovery, finish with one mile of 20 sec strides, 40 sec jog recovery.
Not gonna lie, this workout freaked me out and prompted me to text Coach Mick. You want me to run how fast? Really? I thought I might get some pace concessions here, but instead he said something like “It’s only 2 minutes. But it’s going to feel like an hour.” Um, thanks? Pokey and I tackled this together. My brain went totally dark at the end of the first tempo mile and I stopped. I just felt mentally overwhelmed, feeling like crap with so much of the workout still to go. But I pulled my shit together and started running again. I ended up with 7:56, 7:34 for the tempo miles, but that doesn’t include the stop. Then the 2 minute segments went much better than expected! Since 7:00-7:10 felt so completely out of reach, I just ran like hell and we ended up at: 7:22, 7:31, 6:57 (!), 7:09, 7:07. We were on a slight incline and it’s easy enough to see which segments were uphill and which were downhill. Still, I was pretty shocked and pretty psyched to be even in the vicinity of 7:00-7:10. We did not chat a lot during the last mile. This is one of the toughest workouts I’ve done to date and I’m mostly happy with how it went! Dang, was that hard though.
Saturday – 6 miles easy
Got this done quickly before heading to NYC for the day. I expected to feel horrible after the tempo run, but actually felt great! You just never know.
Pokey and I are exploring different routes for easy long runs where hills don’t matter. We ran along the river, then over the bridge to Portland, a couple loops on a trail there and back. Beautiful day.
Weekly total: 52 miles. First time cracking 50 since Chicago marathon!