In my last post, I mentioned my concern for the closeness between Mountain Mist and Little Rock. To be honest, I don't think it's that the races are too close together, it's that I let that fact affect my training and confidence. I held back in a lot of training runs, when I got sick I rested A LOT (I did not take off from running, but I switched to the elliptical machine), and I excused a lot of slower running ("Well, you did just run an ultra!"). But in the last few weeks, I've done the best I could to follow Hal's Advanced 1 Marathon program for Weeks 15-17.
Week 15 (Week of February 3)
Week 15 called for Hal's toughest week of training. I tried to hang on as best I could all week long.
I hit the miles for his 5 miler (8:08 average), 10 miler (8:01 average), and 5 miler (8:22 average) all called for in the beginning of the week.
On Wednesday (Thursday on his plan), I did the 8x800 workout, my only track workout since a 5x800 back at the beginning of January. I estimated an 800 m distance in my neighborhood and ran repeats there: 3:23, 3:21, 3:25, 3:16, 3:12, 3:12, 3:11, and 3:11.
February 8-Friday called for 10 pace miles. I met a fellow Fleet Feet teammate, Kylie Lemon, on the dark, rainy, cold Friday morning, and we got them in in 7:22 average (aiming for 7:15, and the slowness was my fault, not hers).
February 9-I really did not feel like running 20 miles, but I ended up doing them in an 8:59 pace. I started with Jane (first 11 miles), and without her help of ibuprofen, a bathroom stop for me, a refill of water at the end of our run, and a quick glance at her precious baby, I would not have finished this run! Her company was great and helped pass the time.
Overall, I managed to get the miles in this week and a few Jillian Michael's DVDs too, but I felt tired and stiff for most of these runs. I really struggled---Was this too much of a ramping up for me all at once? Am I really still recovering for MM? What pace should I realistically aim for in the marathon?
Week 16 (Week of February 10)
Thankfully, Week 16 went back down in the mileage, but I could still focus on the hill workout and pace run. Rick went out of town, though, so I ended up doing the elliptical more this week and counted it as miles.
February 18-I met Jane for the hill workout. The plan called for 6xhills, but Jane and I just decided to run up to the top of Rainbow Mountain instead, a run we call "The Dragon." 9:41 average for 10 miles.
February 15-Warm up of 8:17, then 7:09, 7:11, 7:09, 7:01
February 17-I went with Kylie to a really scenic spot. 7:15 miles for the first 10 and 7:35 cool down for 2 miles. Kylie is great company to run with, and she pushes me to run faster.
Week 17 (Week of February 17)
February 20-Warm up 7:57 and 3 miles: 6:40, 6:39, 6:39 (these are from memory since I don't have the Garmin right now).
I'm about to head out for a run right now. I love the short runs in the taper!
More later about my thoughts on Little Rock, pacing ideas, etc.
Below is a picture from Christmas Break. I bundled the kids for what I think may be one of our last double stroller runs together. I don't like marathon training cycles that begin with weather like this, but we made it work!