Ah, it is Thursday and this marks the end of my training week. I’m working the next three days, which really throws a wrench in any traditional training plan, whether you like to do your long runs on Saturdays or Sundays – both are out! I’ll most likely do mine on Monday, which probably isn’t a terrible idea given the pending snow we’re going to get. (You can CitiBike in the snow, right? Stay tuned for updates…) I actually love running in the snow, and I’ve give props where props are due – Central Park gets cleared quite quickly. Additionally, nothing makes for running on tired legs quite like doing a long run after working for three days! Best training plan ever.
But anyway. Let’s review the past week of training, as I’ve done some sort of running that seems like I’m actually training for something. Who knew.
The Long Run
Sunday was my first LONG LONG run – a run that took over an hour. I don’t necessarily consider eight miles to be that long of a run, as I still remember times where I’d just run for an hour because it seemed like an easy thing to do. The Battalion is doing long runs on Sunday, so I met up with some of the team for a few miles. Luckily, a late start was in my favor (9am, I’m not a morning person), so I ran two miles to the meeting point. Everyone had a varied number of miles they were looking to get in, so we ended up doing the four mile loop. I mostly ran with Baker and one of the younger members of the team, and we kept a conversational pace. My legs had been pretty tired since the 400’s I’d done a couple days before – achy shins and all that. It was probably best that I ran with others since it helped me keep the pace back and helped me keep moving. The distraction of group running is always a big help as well, and the miles flew by. I ended up with the last mile by myself back to my apartment, so the run went by pretty quick! It did leave me tired for the rest of the day (or the next couple days?), so I suppose I have some work to do.
8.04 miles in 1:07:06, avg pace of 8:21
The Recovery Run
My legs were a bit tired once Monday rolled around, so I had no idea how this run would go. I told myself nine minute miles would be just fine, but to let my legs keep it easy and see what happened. It was nothing other than an easy four miles and that how I treated it. Luckily, my legs moved right along with me.
4.02 miles in 33:42, avg pace of 8:23
The Midweek Longer-ish Run
When I woke up, the wind was HOWLING. Our common room (or whatever you call the only room that is not the bedroom) opens up to a courtyard (it’s not nearly as fancy as that sounds…it’s concrete) and the wind can be super loud. After Tuesday, it seems like it was all made up. I put running off for a long time because I didn’t want to face the wind. And the cold temperatures with wind chill in the teens – I wasn’t ready for it and it sounded quite ominous. I dressed up with a few layers including a hat, fleece neck guard, and two sets of gloves. Of course, the weather wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting….I’ll admit I even felt a bit overheated. Oops. Lucky for me, Abbe also delayed her run, so I had some company for a few miles! We did a loop and a half of the reservoir, which I haven’t run on in a long time. I forget how pretty the views are and how nice and flat the route is. Always a welcome break from the hills in Central Park!
Photo compliments of Abbe, The Battalion, and many layers.
We kept the pace easy, but it kept us plenty warm. Winter running never seems so bad once you get moving…but a hot shower at home certainly helps!
6.33 miles in 53:18, avg pace of 8:25
The Speed Work
Okay, so I know I said I was following Hal Higdon’s half marathon training plan. And that plan called for a tempo run today, but I’ve never liked his description of a tempo run. “35 minute tempo” means build up to tempo speed, holding that for maybe 15 minutes, then cooling down. It seems too abstract for my number loving self. (This is much different than “run tempo pace for 35 minutes.”) Maybe that’s because the second seems like a tall order right now…but I figured mile repeats would be a good idea instead. Right? Right.
I wasn’t sure what pace to go for – good old McMillan says mile repeat pace should be 6:40-6:55 pace – that sounded really fast, so I figured I would aim for 7 minute pace with hopes of 6:45. I headed to the West Side Highway for a two mile warm-up. Generally the WSH makes me nervous in the winter because it can be really windy, but the wind was down and it seemed like a good plan. Two mile warm up at about 8:30-ish pace, then I was off for 3 x mile with a two minute rest between.
The first mile wasn’t bad – that’s how the first repeat should be, right? 6:42 – I felt pretty good, but knew I had my work cut out for me for the rest. I took a few seconds to catch my breath and then did a two minute jog before starting up again.
As predicted the second repeat wasn’t so hot – a blast of wind hit me hard and I really had to work hard to push through the repeat. The last two minutes were especially challenging and I almost felt sick at the end…but at least I hit 6:45! Oof. One more to go.
One more to go! Less than seven minutes and it will all be over. I told myself to think about anything other than the time left on the clock, which is oddly hard to do. It’s strange how so many thoughts can occupy my mind on a long run, an easy run, any other run, but when doing speed work, all I can think about is how hard I’m running…which certainly doesn’t help! I tried going through the alphabet and naming things – I started with fruit, but I couldn’t think of many fruits that start with letters in the beginning of the alphabet (what fruit starts with e??), then I moved on to girls names and boys names. Then there was finally only a minute to go and I hit 6:44. WOOHOOOOOOO.
A mile cooldown back home and the whole thing was over. Maybe I’ve still got some speed left in these legs?
Another week in the books!
So that was this week so far! And I suppose for all. I look at my running weeks as Monday-Sunday, which I think a lot of people do…I worked Wednesday and now I work Friday-Sunday, so that only allows for three days of running this week…it’s hard to a decent amount of mileage in, but you gotta do what you gotta do! At least I get some Citibiking on my way to and from work – crosstraining at it’s finest.
I’ve thought about doing something like the FIRST program – I think that’s what it’s called – where you basically do three runs per week, but they’re all quality runs. Speed work, longs runs. That seems like a good idea, but sometimes the only days I have off are in a row, and doing quality runs back to back also sounds like a bad idea. If anyone wants to shed some light, that’d be great, otherwise I’ll keep chugging along at my semi-made up plan!