Friday, April 26, 2013

VCM Training Week 9: More than Halfway

Week 9 (3.25.13 to 3.31.13):

Monday: 5 mile tempo run on TM- built up to 7:35 pace for middle mile  (weights)
Tuesday: 40 minutes weights and core strength (5 miles)
Wednesday:  1 Hour Spin Class (CT cardio)
Thursday: 4.76 miles at 8:00 mm pace (5 miles)
Friday: rest (rest)
Saturday: 16.01 miles at 9:13 pace (16 mile long run)
Sunday: 1.92 miles and 1 hour 15 minutes of intense frisbee (5 miles)
Total:  30.69 miles of running

Having gotten behind on blog posts again, it didn't occur to me during Week 9 that I was halfway through my training plan. Instead, I was just going through the motions of my daily workouts and having a blast. I had two wonderfully speedy midweek runs and I hauled my ass to the gym for a 6AM spin class with my favorite instructor for the first time.

To top off the fun week, I got to run 16 miles under the wing of my marathon runner friend Nikki which took some of the stress out of it. The night before, I went to bed feeling kind of like I do the night before a race. I was giddy, nervous and excited. We ran an 8 mile out and back to and around Haines Point. The only time I'd ever run there was during the Run for the Parks 10k in October and I loved it. I've since done two more of my runs there. It is flat, scenic and peaceful.

Nikki and I do short runs together fairly frequently but hadn't run longer than 5 or six miles together in years. The last long run I did with someone else was with Hadley in August 2011 and, before that, the last was the National Half with Nikki in March 2011. So, at about mile 8, it became clear that talking wasn't going to come easy for the whole run. For the second half, I let Nikki do more of the talking and, a few times, asked to just run quietly. At mile 12, I got a pretty bad cramp, something that hasn't happened to me at all during training. I'm sure it was from many miles of chatting and running which I think is kind of cool. It's interesting what a different workout it is for your lungs and I like to think of it as good training for when I want to cheer back at spectators on the marathon course.

Around mile 14, my legs were just dead. Every step felt like wading through mud. But we pushed on and finished 16.01 miles just below Woodley Park at a 9:13 pace. Another nice thing about this run is that I hardly paid attention to my garmin. Until the last few miles, when I had to keep checking to make sure I wasn't doing something like a 20 minute mile, we just cruised along at a comfortable pace. It was less hilly than many of my other runs so that accounts for some of it but I was really proud of our comfortable pace for 16 miles. Probably still faster than Hal Higdon would advise we go but whatever.

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