Work it out: 8/26

Well we are now 3 weeks out from the half marathon, and I think this is intended to be a drop down week based on the fact that my scheduled long run is two miles shorter than last week’s. I’m not sure what to do about that. My next three long runs are 10, 12, and, 14, but I almost feel like I should flip that and taper towards the half. I’ve never run quite so far in the week leading up to a half marathon. It’s because I’m following a marathon training plan. I’m writing this on Tuesday, so I guess scroll down to the weekend to see what I decided!

Monday- rest. I was actually feeling like maybe running three easy miles might be good for my tired legs, but I didn’t get home from work until 8, so I was glad to take my planned rest day.

Tuesday- 3 miles. No idea what our pace was here because, once again, my Garmin will not turn on. That’s cool. It felt fast and hard, but it could have just been the return of heat and humidity. Summer’s last hurrah I guess. I’d guess 10:15, but really I have no idea.

Wednesday- 20 minutes of core work. This was a planned rest day for me as I thought I’d be out to dinner after work. Our plans fell through, and I felt like I should take advantage of the free time. I couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to run though, so I did a quick core workout I found on Pinterest (mostly planks and crunches) before relaxing the night away. This was the first night of the week that didn’t feel totally rushed, and it was glorious. The core work felt pretty good too. My lower back has been achy in the last few miles and hours after my long runs these last two weeks. I’ve encountered this problem in the past. It’s a result of a back injury from high school and a weak core. I can’t undo the injury, but I can focus on strengthening my core so that it does the work of supporting my fatigued body during runs rather than putting all that pressure on my spine.

Thursday- 3.5 miles. Have I ever mentioned that Thursdays are my favorite day of the week? I have a whole long winded explanation as to why, but just trust me. This Thursday did not disappoint because Debbie joined me for this run! That made it much more fun. The weather was pretty humid and overcast, but luckily we didn’t get rained on.

I felt pretty good for this run which is odd since I had a salad for lunch which is usually not ideal running fuel for me.

I have decided that I’d really like to focus on keeping my pace under 10:30 from now until the half. It’s my only shot at a faster race than last year. I realize it’s probably too late now, but I’m gonna try.

We actually fell under 10 a few times, but since we had originally planned on 6 miles I made an effort to slow down. We had an important errand to run that evening though so we cut our run short. Still, avg pace: 10:24.

Friday- 6 miles. Some days are just great run days. This was one of them. I had low expectations for this run. I’m usually run down by Fridays. I was feeling a little sore from Thursday’s run. It was hot out. I started out and felt just kind of heavy. Like it felt like work to pick one foot up and then the other. Still, I was right below pace (10:30) and felt like I was holding myself back. I forced myself to stay around pace for the first three miles then thought, “let’s see what I’ve got.” Turns out, I had a little more in the tank. I picked up the pace enough to finish just under 10 minute miles – avg pace: 9:50 – and even had negative splits – 10:10, 10:00, 9:57, 9:48, 9:46, 9:21. Not to rain on my own parade, but I don’t think this is something I could maintain for 13.1 miles. I do, however, feel like 10:30 is within range. I just need to remind myself to go out so slow. Slower than I think I need. So slow it feels like slow motion.

So, what worked for this run? I think fueling played a big role. I usually have yogurt for breakfast and a salad for lunch, but today I had a scone and a sandwich. I really think the carbs helped. I also had a short day at work because of the holiday, and I was coming off of a full night’s sleep, so I think I was less tired than usual. Finally, I listened to some really upbeat music. It got me going!

Saturday- planned rest. I didn’t sleep well Friday night, so I was glad for the rest day Saturday. I used the time to run some errands before meeting up with Debbie and Mike in Jersey City for Mike’s surprise birthday cruise of the Hudson!

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I thought I’d be a wreck on the boat, but I popped a couple Dramamine and felt fine. It was a great time! I’ve never been so close to the Statue of Liberty in my life!

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