Sunday, November 02, 2008

2 Weeks to San Antonio - a Mixed Bag for Training

"The Gang" on Halloween Night in the Halloween Knight's Graveyard

During my first taper week I had a mixed bag of training experiences. I had planned on running 31 miles but only finished the week with 25. We have several days of very cool weather - fantastic for running.

After my 23 mile run last Sunday, I took Mon and Tues off before running on Wed. So I missed my planned 4 miler on Tuesday. Wednesday morning, the forecast was for 43 deg F - with a breeze that made it feel like 38 deg. As I tend to do in cooler weather, I over dressed for that run (long tights, MCM cotton mock turtleneck, MCM running jacket, winter hat and gloves). About 1 mile into the run I had to shed the jacket - tying it around my waist. I used the hat and gloves to regulate my warmth after that. The big lessons for that day was learning (again) about how to dress properly for those temperatures....which I could encounter in San Antonio or even at Disney in January. Unlike CA, my speed was not too dramatic - but I felt good enough to run 6.7 miles at an 11:33 min/mi pace.

On Thursday morning, I would have another try - temps were going to be just a tad warmer - 47 deg F. But this time I was ready. I wore my 3/4 length running pants, and a long sleeve wicking t-shirt with the hat and gloves again. I did, at the last minute, throw my Team Parkinson singlet UNDER the long sleeve shirt - keeping the wind from making my body cold. This was better than Wed and the hat and gloves worked well to regulate my temperature. Still, the singlet made me feel a bit warm. I felt great running in the cool weather and ran the 5.1 miles at a 10:30 min/mi pace using a 179 bpm Podrunner mix to keep my pace going for the last 2 miles.

I did have a close call with my "equipment." At one point in the run, while stripping off my gloves, I dropped one of the two yellow bracelets I wear (Pray for Elijah and a Livestrong). I stopped and picked it up, but didn't realize I had dropped them both until I got home. I had lost my Pray for Elijah band. A few thoughts went through my brain - one was that someone else may find it and they might pray for Elijah. The other was that my running friend Joan might spot it, see it was mine and pick it up. As I drove along the same route to drop my daughter off at school, I was trying to remember where I had dropped it during my run - it was dark when I lost it. As we drove past the front of the school I spied it on the sidewalk where I dropped it. So I recovered my Elijah band.

Friday was Halloween night - and we had a great time! I took the girls trick or treating while my hubby, the Halloween Knight, guarded the castle and gave away candy. Since it was a Friday night, we went out afterward for a late dinner. After getting home late, I wasn't up for running early on Saturday morning so I decided to run Saturday evening.

Around 6 pm, I took off for a 5 mile run. I felt really good so I pushed up the pace a bit and finished the first mile in 9:44 min - a 5K pace. The other miles went quickly by as well - staying very close to a 10 min/mi pace. After 2 miles, I cranked up the 179 bpm Podrunner mix again to see if I could keep it up for a 50 min 5 miler. I came pretty close. I finished 5 miles in 50:15 min - a 10:03 pace - the fastest I had run for all of 2008!! My hamstring was feeling a bit strained, but felt better today. Overall my speed was picking up leading up to my marathon. The prospect for a sub-5 hour marathon was starting to sink in a bit.

But then came today....

I had good success this year running on Sat and Sunday. Even if Sat was a tough run, Sunday was always a good one. However, today was VERY different. I went out with my husband to run an easy 12 miles - 8 with him then another 4 or 5 on my own - but by mile 2 I realized that there was no gas in the tank. My heart rate climbed rapidly to 160 bpm - even though we were going easy (which would normally have me at around 145 bpm). By mile 5, I couldn't even run the 5 min between walking breaks. I toughed it out for the last bit and ending the run at 8.1 miles at a 12:33 min/mi pace (total 1:41:58). Not my worst run, but I have felt tired and dragging ever since.

Lesson learned: No hard workouts the night before a morning long run. If I don't get the Sat run in during the morning - probably best to skip it. And if I do get it in, marathon pace is fine - none of this 10K pace stuff!

I don't feel bad - I learned a lot of important lessons to carry forward.

2 weeks and counting!


Maddy said...

You sound like you're really ready for San Antonio, despite the wardrobe issues.

I'm so excited for you!

Take it easy until race day and you will cruise in under 5 hours!

ShirleyPerly said...

Great Halloween pictures!!

Looks like we missed the cold front last week while in San Diego. Good lessons learned about what to wear when it's cold and overdoing things the day before a long run. Keep in mind that this San Antonio race is not meant to be PR attempt with the Goofy Challenge less than 2 months afterward. However, with the back-to-back Sat-Sun runs you've done in training, I think there's a good chance you may PR if you have cool/cold weather, can get to the start line with no injuries and run a smart race. To practice holding back your pace for Goofy and to better your chances of a PR at San Antonio, consider a negative split race strategy. Most people lose in the last 6-10 miles much more time than they "banked" in the first half.

Petraruns said...

I always get a bit "break a leg" superstitious before a marathon and "need" a bad run to a) teach me a few things I would otherwise forget and b) get the bad run out of my system. You've done it and you're fine now - honestly! Hold back on speed now - keep your gas in the can and good luck!

Susan said...

You're amazing, MC! And way to spot the Elijah band! I am very, very excited for your upcoming marathon.

Tammy said...

Love the Pics of everyone, now to just figure out who your husband is hee hee. Glad to hear you recoverd your Elijah Band, I misplaces mine in the house, and recoverd it but that inside not outside I'm so glad you were able to find it. Great job this year on all the hard work on training. Can't wait to see how the Disney Goofy run goes.

Star Wars Runner said...

Hey Chris sounds like you are ready to join me in San Antonio. I would like to try and meet up at the expo. My friend Gill is running with me and will be flying in on Friday night so we will definitely be there on Saturday. Remember I will be wearing the Star Wars Jersey on race day so I should be easy to spot.

Send me an email and we can coordinate a meeting.

Love the costumes.