Hal's plan calls for a lower mileage week for Week 12 in between two pretty tough weeks (Weeks 11 and 13). Week 11 was tough since it was the first 20 miler (and it followed a 10 miler). Week 13 gets even tougher as it repeats that pattern but calls for the 10 miler to be a pace run. You have to be ready for such a tough back-to-back set of runs.
Week 12 gets you ready for it by a short 6 mile pace run and 12 mile long run. I noticed that the pace run is half the distance of the long run, but I'm not sure if that is significant or just a coincidence (since the 10/20 milers follow the same pattern). Also included in Week 12 is a 7x800 speedwork session. This is the longest set of 800s in the program yet, but we will add one to those and repeat them in Week 15.
Several times this week and last, I have found myself saying, "Just do it." Don't feel like getting up early to run alone in the dark? Just do it. Don't feel like running since you have a cold? Just do it. Don't feel like running in the heat of the day? Just do it. It really helps me look at each run as a step in my training--an important step. And you do those steps even when you don't feel like it. I also finally committed to the 7:15 pace for pace runs and am committing to 7:45-8:15 as my target long run pace (30-60 seconds off my marathon pace). I am trying to keep a 3:10 as my goal for this marathon, but these workouts will be the test of that.
Speedwork 7x800s Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Aim 3:10 (you aim for your marathon time in minutes and seconds)
3:07, 3:09, 3:10, 3:08, 3:09, 3:11, 3:02
I accomplished these fairly easily and felt good at the end. Getting a 3:02 as the last repeat was a good confidence boost, but I have to remember that the goal was a 3:10 and not any faster than this. I have to be careful to not try to "outdo" myself with faster times than these next time. I tend to compete like this with myself! Julia and I ran this workout together, and we did a mile warm up and 2 mile cool down (she wanted 8 miles total).
6 mile pace run Friday, August 30, 2011
I am not too concerned with being far off pace (20 seconds) for this run. First, it was in the dark and it was loops around my neighborhood. That is never a good fit for me to go fast. I don't listen to music in the dark, and I have a hard time finding my footing so I run more cautiously. Also, my music and my light kept falling off of my belt. The 8:15 mile was where I had to stop running, retrieve my light, and reattach it all while the Garmin was running. I intended for the first mile or 2 to be a warm up and thus slower than pace. The last 3 miles were on target, and Mile 4 was very close. I am pretty confident that all miles would have been on pace if I hadn't had the issues mentioned above.
12 mile long run Saturday, September 1, 2012
I am very pleased with this run. I was able to accomplish a run right at the pace I wanted (7:45-8:15 is my target, so 8:03 is right in the middle). I was able to do a very small pace increase, starting with 8:14 and ending with 7:45 pace. I felt great during the run, and it was during the late afternoon! It was a hot day with highs in the low 90s and very humid. I am pleased that I have acclimated to this weather so much that it wasn't a factor for me. This will help the runs in the cooler weather feel much easier for me.
I am heading into one of the hardest weeks in the program. I hope the runs above will give me the confidence needed to perform well this week.