Weekly Wrap-Up: October 17-23

Two weeks from today. Not that I’m counting.

In spite of the toe recovery, the fall, and the distinct lack of beer, I’m going to have to say it was actually a pretty good week. I wasn’t expecting that either.

It’s now time for me to taper before the New York City Marathon. Shortly after my long run on Saturday, I realized (and posted on Facebook) that my next double-digit mileage run will end in Central Park.

I saw a statistic this week that was downright depressing. The average pace at the New York City Marathon last year was 8:14/mile. My fastest mile ever was 8:25.3, at the end of the Charlotte 10 Miler earlier this year. It may take me a little longer, but I plan on finishing the race anyway.

Toe Update: No pain this week. Woohoo! There were a couple of times, mainly early in the week, when I could actually feel some discomfort in the inflamed joint, but I’m pretty sure I could run through that without changing my form. Since it felt better later in the week, I’m cautiously optimistic.

Also, they gave me a bottle of 60 pills. At 2 per day, that would last a full month, and would definitely last through the day of the New York City Marathon, November 6. Not being able to have a beer after the race would be completely unacceptable. So I checked with the doctor, and he said that I just needed to take the pills as long as I’m experiencing issues. My current plan is to take them for a couple more days this week just to be safe. (I don’t have any plans to meet with friends for a few days, so I won’t have any trouble avoiding beer.)

Weight Check: 163.1, up 1.4 pounds from last week. I can’t blame it on the beer. Twice this week I found myself in an Irish pub drinking water, and that’s no fun. This week, my problem was Mountain Dew. Lots and lots of Mountain Dew. Like, maybe I should have bought some stock in PepsiCo levels of Mountain Dew. All I can do it buckle down this week and drink water. (And no, not Aquafina, also made by PepsiCo. Tap water is just fine for me.) Oh, and I won’t be running as many miles next week, so I can’t outrun my diet either.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday Easy 7 7.01
Tuesday 2.5 mile warm up, 6 x 90 sec @ 5K pace (9:15/mile) w/90 sec recovery, 6 x 1:00 Repeats (9:00/mile) with 2:00 recovery, 6 x 30 sec Repeats with 1:00 recovery, 1.5 mile cool down 6.01 (non-workout)
Thursday Easy 7 7.02
Friday Easy 4 4.01
Saturday 16 miles LSD 16.02

Total: 40.07 miles

Monday was a good run. At the very end, my toe bothered me a little, but it wasn’t enough to slow me down or alter my stride. This was the first run where I finally felt like all the work I had put in over the last 3 months was finally starting to pay off.

There’s no need to go over Tuesday again. I don’t need to link to it again, either, because I did that in the second line of my introduction.

On Thursday, I considered trying to do the workout that had been scheduled for Tuesday, but ultimately, I decided I’d be better off taking it (sort of) easy because of my toe. I did decide to purposely go for a reverse split, with each mile faster than the last. I think I’ve heard some people call this a progression run. I’d never planned to do this before, but I figured it would be better than a regular easy run, but not as taxing as a workout. I succeeded, although I lucked out that the big hill in my neighborhood got split up between miles 4 and 5. If I had run a slightly different route that put all of the hill within the same mile, I’m not sure if I could have pulled off the progression. Like on Monday, I felt like I was benefiting from the last 3 months of training. Also, I have no idea why I ended at 7.02 miles.

By the way, this was my 19th and final 7 mile run for this training period. I had one 7 miler that I had to cut short because nature called (although I made up the miles later in the week), and I probably lost a 7 miler or two when I changed up my schedule to do two long runs in the same week. The 7 miler is a staple of my plan, so doing the last one feels like a milestone. Will I miss them? Meh.

Friday was a treadmill run. Mentally excruciating as usual, but probably what my legs needed the day after Thursday’s run, and the day before a planned 16 mile run.

So, Saturday. It was kind of chilly at the start, and had it been a shorter midweek pre-dawn run, I probably would have worn long sleeves, but for 16 miles where it was going to warm up, I went with short sleeves, and I was OK. I also forgot my Gu, but I survived.

Now, at this point, I knew that I wouldn’t be doing a 20 mile run during this training. I had it scheduled for last week, I had to stop early because of my toe, and I decided I shouldn’t try to run 20 this week. I’ve noticed that there are two schools of thought in marathon training. One thinks it’s a good idea to do as many as three 20 mile runs to get used to the long distance of the marathon. The other (and my co-worker who created my plan agrees with this) thinks that 20 mile runs present a huge injury risk, and at the very most, you should only do 1. Now, going into my training last year, I thought that doing a 20 mile run would provide a psychological boost, since I had never run a marathon before, so I convinced my co-worker to include a 20 miler in my plan. He left it in this year, but the week before my run, he said that if I was experiencing any pain, I should stop. (So he jinxed me.)

The point is, I may not have needed the 20 miler this year mentally, but part of me felt like I needed my 16 miler to go well (and go the full distance).

During the first 3 miles, I felt like I was going too fast, and took a couple of extra walk breaks just to try to control my pace. Eventually, I just ran, and figured eventually, I’d slow down due to fatigue. Around the 10 mile mark, my stomach started bothering me. That was really odd. I’ve never had that happen during a run. Also, I was only drinking water, no Gatorade, no Gu, no oranges from friendly strangers, so I had no idea what could be causing it. I struggled a bit in miles 10 and 11, but got through them, and eventually my stomach settled down. I sped up at the end, with mile 16 being my fastest mile, and finished strong, even adding an extra extra .01 at the end.

I was happy with my Monday, Thursday, and Saturday runs. (I guess Friday was OK, but it was the treadmill. And Tuesday, well, you know.) So that’s why I put this into the “good week” category.

Next Week
Monday: Easy 6
Tuesday: 1.5 mile warm up, 2 miles at Threshold (10:30/mile) with 2:00 recovery, 1.5 mile at Threshold with 1:00 recovery, 1 mile @ Threshold, 1.5 mile cool down
Thursday: Easy 4
Friday: Easy 5
Saturday: Easy 8

I may end up juggling my schedule next weekend, I’ve heard rumors of a possible family gathering. Otherwise, it’s definitely a taper.

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