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The Big Week.

28 September 2015

This is a big week in terms of training. My longest training week leading up to my longest run before the marathon. Saturday, BB and I ran 18.1 miles in a new area, mostly in a park on the west side of ECC. In addition to the road miles, we ended up doing at least a couple of miles, maybe up to 4, on trails. There were a lot more hills than we usually do, as well, including a big climb up to a high bridge over a river.

And I felt pretty good. I was tired and fatigued at the end, but I felt pretty good, all things considered. Much better than the past two long runs of 18 and 19 miles. When I was watching the Iron Cowboy do his ridiculous triathlon record, I read on the support blog that it takes about 10 days for the fitness from a long run to take effect. I don’t know if that’s true, but it was written by a professional endurance athlete trainer. And it seems to fit with my experience. One week to the next isn’t quite enough time to make a run feel better at the same challenging distance. But two weeks, with a shorter run between? Then I can tell I’m fitter.

We ran the 18 miles at a 10:47 pace, despite having to stop several times for directions while running in a new area. That’s about 15 seconds per mile faster than the last two long runs, and is paced for about a 4:42 marathon. That’s a long time to run, but I’m starting to think it’s possible. Then Sunday we worked out for an hour (and I did real pull-ups!) and ran 3 miles as a recovery run at about a 10:00 pace. The weather was gorgeous and looks like it’s only going to get better for the next few weeks. I’m hoping, as we all do, that there won’t be rain on race day. But as long as it isn’t hot, I’ll be fine. And it’s rarely hot in Washington DC in late October.

Now I enter the biggest longest week: three miles yesterday, seven each today and Wednesday, and five on Thursday. Then, 21 miles on Saturday. The longest long run before the race. That will leave us with a marathon to run which is about five miles longer than I’ve ever run before. BB, of course, has finished a marathon, but she didn’t train the way she’d have liked, and ended up walking a good bit of it, finishing in something like 5:30.

As with all my races, my only true goal is to finish, and run the whole way. Times are a nice bonus, and I’d love to finish in 4:30 or so, but I don’t think that’s too likely. But I feel pretty confident I will be able to run the whole way. I know that those last five miles are gonna hurt. But I think I’ll be able to get through them. It’s going to feel great to have that medal hung around my neck.

And I’ve decided on my marathon tattoo. I never felt connected enough to that drawing I put up. So here’s what I’ve decided. In 490 BC, the soldier Pheidippides, after the battle of Marathon, was dispatched to bring the news of the Greek triumph over the Persian invaders. He ran the 26 mile distance, climbed the Acropolis, and gasped, “Rejoice. We are victorious.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 28 September 2015 18:44

    Sounds like a very solid week of training!

  2. Syd permalink
    2 October 2015 19:05

    You and BB are amazing. Good luck!

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