Monday, January 19, 2015

Mortal? Or Awesome?

I've been cranking up the miles, trying to get the most out of my marathon training. I keep expecting my body to feel the fatigue. But lately I've still been laying down fast splits no matter how tired I get. This week would be more of the same. Plan was to go over 50 miles, with some speed work, some hills, and a long one. The usual.

Tuesday I did my 7 miler where I met a guy gunning for the Olympic trials. (FYI, he just ran the Houston Half Marathon USA championships and ran 1:06:57 - only good for 68th place!) I had a good little progression and finished strong.

 Wednesday was track night. Plan was 4x1 mile. Coach said to target 30-60 seconds under marathon pace. I figured 6:50, but my pace buddies were shooting for 6:40, so I tagged along.

6:42, 6:43, 6:38, 6:37

Felt good! I could have done a few more. Or faster. Still cocky.

Thursday I went out for an easy six, and managed to keep it reasonably paced, averaging 8:27.

Friday was gym day, and then Saturday morning I went back to the mountains with the Goats.

10.6 miles with over 2,000 feet of elevation gain. I was feeling pretty tired, but it was an absolutely beautiful day in the mountains, with incredible views, and I hung with three other guys the whole way. So it was a fun social run, with plenty of challenge.

I was feeling pretty beat up, but we hosted a party Saturday night, so I was on my feet much of the day and night. And I had a few beverages. Dragged my butt to bed about midnight, exhausted, and the idea of dropping 18+ miles the next morning did not sound like a great plan. But I had committed to a group run, and that helped me get up and out the door before 8AM.

It was a small group and I didn't plan to run with them long. But I did meet Badwater legend Danny Westergaard, who did Badwater to Mount Whitney SIX times in a row! Not in 6 years, Consecutively!

Anyway after a slow half mile I said goodbye to the group and pushed ahead. I was feeling sluggish, but just cruised. The whole run was flat along the beach, so I got up to speed quicker than usual. By mile 4 I was near 8:00 pace, but I was not getting close to the crazy 7:40's I was hitting last week. I just plugged along. Definitely feeling the fatigue, but by the return trip, I was seeing sub-8 paces and felt good enough to maintain it, and just kept going. My heavy legs felt like they wanted to quit, but the endurance I have earned is paying off, and the body somehow is just able to keep going and going.

Still, I was toying with blog titles about being mortal finally since I was slower than last week. But then the pace kept getting better and not getting worse, and the miles piled up, and I decided I would try to push the last few miles to see if I could run 7:30 pace with end of marathon fatigue. So I pushed it a little for the last 1.6 miles. And the body responded! Mile 18 was 7:28, and for the last 0.57 I cranked it up to 7:16!

I'm going with Awesome.

 50.5 miles for the week. Looking forward to 20 next Sunday after a rest day on Saturday.

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