Monday, September 26, 2011


I made it!

My goal last week was to run 70 miles and complete all my workouts as planned, and somehow I managed to do it. My two "quality" workouts were especially intense. On Thursday I did four tempo runs with short breaks inbetween, and on Sunday I did 8 miles at marathon pace or faster, along with 9 easy miles for a total of 17. I knew Sunday's run would be especially challenging and I was surprised that Mark, Tommy, Matt, and Tim were all interested in running all or part of it with me.

Mark, Tommy, and I started at 6 am, running 6 miles at an easy pace. Then Matt and Tim joined for the tough part of the workout. The plan was to run 30 minutes at marathon pace, then a 5-minute tempo, then repeat. Marathon pace for me is now 7:40, so it's faster than I'm accustomed to running on long runs. Miles 1-4 felt good and we kept a solid pace: 7:41, 7:36, 7:35, 7:34. Then it was time to pick it up. I accelerated to a 7:00 pace and heard the other runners groan. At this point Mark, Matt, and Tim were with me, and they were all solid. We took a break for a couple minutes, then started off on the next series.

This time it things didn't seem quite so easy, but we managed to maintain the pace for 3 miles. Then I decided it was time to pick things up again -- once again, I was wrong; we should have run another mile. Matt and Tim weren't carrying water so they stopped at a water fountain after about 1 minute, and Mark succumbed to the temptation as well. I pressed on, knowing a 7:00 pace was out of reach on this uphill stretch, on a very muggy morning. I finished my 5-minute tempo and then stopped and waited for the guys. My splits for legs 6-9: 7:37, 7:34, 7:46, 7:15. Not ideal, but on this very muggy morning, I'll take it.

Mark, Matt and Tim caught up to me and we started our easy cool-down run into town. Only, as usual for me after tough workouts, the cool-down ended up being the hardest part. I let the three of them run ahead and met them at the CVS. Since I had messed up on the length of the marathon-pace workout, we still had a mile to go. Matt and Tim needed to head back to Birkdale (they were doing 20), but I convinced Mark to join me for another mile of cool-down, which gave me a solid 70.1 miles for the week.

This was my longest normal training week ever, with a rest day Monday and 6 days of running. I've run farther before, but only in weeks when I pushed my Sunday run from the previous week to Monday, which in my mind doesn't count because that Monday run "belongs" to the previous week.

Week in review:

M: Rest
T: Easy 12.38 miles
W: Easy 9 miles
T: Tough 13.5-mile tempo workout
F: Easy 10 miles
S: Easy 8 miles
S: Tough 17-mile Marathon Pace workout

70.1 miles, 9 hours and 40 minutes, 2,884 feet elevation gain.

Details on the core, marathon-pace segment of the run are below:

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