Saturday, February 16, 2008

No pain, . . . .

Probably no need to complete the sports cliche, but this week has made me feel it. Not sure if there's a breakthrough coming on soon, but after the hard (and disappointing) effort during last weekend's half-marathon, I managed to get through all of my scheduled training runs, despite work, family and weather valiantly conspiring against me.

Monday brought a bti of soreness, but I managed 15 minutes on the elliptical, an upper body circuit and some light core work. Tuesday brought 8 miles at lunchtime, with 8 strides (instead of 10, since I misread the schedule). Wednesday was the worst weather day of a lousy, harsh winter: 8 inches of snow, followed by rain, freezing rain, then flooding and re-icing. Did 5 recovery miles on the treadmill. Thursday was the biggest challenge, with Pfitzinger's schedule calling for 10 miles, which I needed to do indoors, since the roads were essentially still un-navigable (if that's a word). I went to the gym at the wonderful prep school where my wofe works, and did 5 miles on the treadmill, 3 on a 1/10-mile indoor track and 2 at marathon pace (MP) on the treadmill. I base these workouts on the readings from my Garmin footpod, so I'm hoping it's pretty accurate. Friday was a rest day, and today called for a 4-mile recovery run. Truth is that I can't really bring myself to run less than 5 miles, so that's how long my recovery runs have been. It was very cold (in the teens, with wind chill about -1), but I still managed to overdress this morning. I watched the HR on my watch, and ended up running really slow (over 9:00/mile), but if that's what my body needed, then it's good that I knew that.

Tomorrow is logistically complicated, as I'm hosting my running club's monthly winter Sunday run, where we meet, folks run anywhere from 5 to 12 miles, and then we eat. Since I'm hosting, I couldn't very well run Pfitzinger's prescribed 15-miler, missing the whole social time at my own house (and forcing my wife to deal with my running chums). So, my obsession has led to decide to run 10 miles (6 easy and 4 at MP) before the group arrives, hope not to cool down too much, then run an easy 5 miles with some of the club mates.

Reading many of the RW forum's more experienced runners' advice, I am going to try to throw some MP miles into most of my long runs, especially later in the run. It seems to be the best possible dress rehearsal, and it should help me know what the goal should be. Right now, I'm torn between trying to get at least one solid, if unspectacular, marathon behind me before trying to run a Boston qualifying (BQ) time, which in my case is under 3:20:59. After last Sunday's race, I have my doubts, but I'm trying to learn patience, and have faith that the training will surely propel close to where I want to be.

As I approach 50-mile weeks, I marvel at how so many people run anywhere from 1.5 or even double that as they train for marathons. I am just barely keeping my head above water time- and energy-wise, while the 70+ mpw folks seem to have it all figured out (especially on race day!).

I have one more intense week, then a much-awaited cutback week, with only one double-digit run all week, a Sunday 12-miler. Hip feels a little sore, but it's hanging in there, not being much of a factor. As hard as it is for me to do this, I plan to skip all the local late-winter/early-spring 5K's, since they'll just beat me up and possibly derail my marathon training. Eyes on the prize this year, eyes on the prize . . . .


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