Ten weeks down, eight to go!
As I wrapped up week 9 and looked at my training schedule, uh oh…faux pas! Yep that’s right, somewhere along the line I tuned out my weekly strides. Oh no!! You see, every Monday and every Saturday since week one, my plan has had me doing 6 easy miles with strides or hill bounders. Since I have yet to figure out exactly how to do a hill bounder, despite watching numerous videos, I committed to doing strides. Strides are easy and I like doing them. But at some point I just forgot to do them. In fact in the last three weeks, I only managed to get two of six scheduled strides in. So, this week, I made amends and did strides on Monday and on Saturday. Back on board!
Also this week I finished my last Tuesday speed workout. From here on out, Tuesdays will be marathon specific strength workouts. Essentially that just means my reps will be longer but with less intensity. This week’s workout was 12 times 400 meters with 400 meters recovery in between. All this was sandwiched between a mile and a half warm up and cool down. Lesson learned, I can’t count reps to save my life! At one point, I wasn’t sure if I had finished three or four reps, so on my recovery I went back through my Garmin to find out. I had finished five! Yay me 🙂
On Thursday I had to do eight miles at marathon pace with a mile and a half warm up and cool down for 11 miles total. Ordinarily I would try to find a place where I could do all eight without having to stop, but Thursday was annual evaluation day at work and well, lets face it, you don’t really want to be late for that! So I ran from the house, which meant three traffic lights in each direction, plus a couple stop signs. At one point I forgot to stop my Garmin while waiting for a traffic light. Of course that screwed my pace up, so after about a half mile I decided to reset my lap, which then screwed my distance up. You just can’t win with this sort of thing!
Friday and Saturday were easy paced runs and as mentioned Saturday had those all important strides! I ran on Saturday out at Babcock Webb Wildlife Management Area with my dog Otis. Since we are currently in a drought, there is countless opportunities to explore. We did and had a great time.
Sunday my running group ran the Celery Fields in Sarasota. The Celery Fields, in case you missed my early post about it, is a large storm water retention area for Sarasota County. During the process of digging retention ponds, which today are beautiful wetlands, the dirt was all piled up onto a big hill. That hill is now a very popular recreation area with trails up and around it. For northern readers, I’m sure you are thinking “really?”, but for us southern flat lander’s, this hill is awesome!
All of my running friends have different goals so Sunday distance is anywhere’s between five miles and twenty, depending on the person. I ran with Christina (running 11), Michael (13), and Gary (18). I needed 16. We ran up and around the hill, covering a couple miles, then around the storm water ponds for 2.5 miles, repeat, repeat.
As we approached mile 10, Christina says “Does anyone want to run a sub 8 on the next mile?” Sure thing Christina…of course at the end of that mile, she was done…the rest of us…still going 😦 So that was hard and took a lot out of me, but back up the hill we went. When we came back down, Gary led Michael and I to a shaded canopy loop he knew of. Around mile 14 and I was toast. At mile 15 Michael’s calves were freezing up (recall he was only doing 13). When we hit 16 miles Michael and I decided to walk back to the park. Gary still had two miles to go.
Minor fault in this walking plan is that we were following Gary, hadn’t paid attention and really weren’t sure how far away the park was. Gary now out of sight, we approach an intersection…a decision…hmmm. Time to break out the phone. Quickest route, back the way we came and only 1.5 miles miles away. Tired and thirsty now, Michael sees a small boy carrying a ketchup bottle and says “I’d be willing to drink that”. And me? I’m seeing mirages!
We got back prepared to give Gary a hard time, but guess who got in his car and came looking for us. One thing I love about this group…no one ever gets left behind, including Gail. Gail was running 20 miles with some others in our group. She had the most miles to do and for her last three, a couple friends who were long done, went back out to help her finish. Michael and I made it back to the park to see her finish her last mile. Gail has a marathon in three weeks.
So I have to say, despite feeling really tired at the end of my run, by the time I got home, I felt great. Maybe it was that I finally got the knots rolled out of my inner thigh. Or maybe it was that DoTerra Deep Blue that Gail let me use on my legs. Maybe it was that two mile recovery walk. Or maybe it was that great post run meal we had at First Watch. But I felt good. Didn’t even take a nap I felt so good!
Week 11, coming up…stay tuned…