So I’ve been a little busy. But, not too busy to run; and I’ve been doing a lot of running!
Week six on my training plan went by without any issue. The highlight was my long run of 15 miles. Our local running club had a fun run scheduled that day at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port. This small City park backs up to the Carlton Reserve, a much larger County park with tons of trails. And, a connector bridge between the two parks was opened a couple months ago.
A group of us arrived for the fun run an hour early to get a jump start on our long runs. Several of us needed more than 12 miles so we figured we’d start out in the reserve for an hour, cross back, do the group run, then finish back in the reserve. The trails on both side are really nice, but on our last trip across the bridge we hit the jackpot. A group of BMX bikers from SCOR (Sarasota County Offroad Riders) was doing trail maintenance and turned us on to their single track trails.
The trails bordered Myakkahatchee Creek and on one side the trail was called “Live Long” and on the other “Prosper”. I suspect there’s a Star Trek fan in the group. We took Live Long to the end and to get to the other side either had to wade the creek or scale a downed tree. We took the tree, and made our way back along Prosper, which was very technically difficult. A lot of up and downs…A lot!!
The following Tuesday, week 7, my plan had me doing 3 minute hill repeats for speed work. I opted to stay flat but still did speed work. On Thursday, my plan had me doing a 4 mile tempo run, but I was registered for the Hands Across the Harbor half marathon on Sunday, so I opted to do an easy run and include my tempo in the race.
Sunday’s race is a local one that includes eight bridges, so good hill training. It’s an out and back so four bridges total. The weather for the race was cool with winds from the north. North winds were great going across the first and longest bridge, but once we got to the other side (the south side of the river), we were running along the shore and it was pretty windy.
I figured I would use the first 8 miles as a tempo run, then settle into a slower pace to finish. But, that didn’t happen. I ran the entire race at marathon race pace, actually a little under. Well all but the last trek across that long bridge. That was hard; major head wind, and I slowed by a minute and a half before I got to the top.
I ended up finishing the race in 1:50:49 at a 8:28 pace, seven seconds per mile faster than marathon pace. It was enough for a first place in my age group, which I am super happy about! The race was good confidence that I am training at a realistic marathon pace.
Week 8, and more confidence building. I ran Hands Across the Harbor hard and wasn’t sure I’d be able to hit my speed work paces two days later. My plan had me doing 5 x 1km at MP-20 sec. with 400 m recovery, sandwiched between a mile and a half warm up and cool down. I ran my speed work at the high school track and nailed my times. I even did so with only 200 m recovery! That was a mistake on my part that I didn’t notice until I downloaded my Garmin.
Thursday came and went with more confidence building; a tempo run on hills consisting of 2 x 3 miles at MP, again sandwiched between 1.5 miles warm up and cool down. And again, I nailed it, although I will say, it wasn’t easy!
So now for the Debby Downer…Thursday afternoon, had lunch felt great…a couple hours later, and I was feeling pretty rough. I thought maybe, positive thinking, it was because I was cold all day, so I went home and curled up in a blanket. I also went to bed early, but today, Friday and I have a sore throat. A cold…seriously! I don’t have time for a cold 😦 I did get my run in this morning, but I see a rough weekend a head. Stay tuned.