NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.
Due to what was a hectic and busy week outside of running, I was unable to post with a daily journal entry. Instead of combining all six days of training, I’ll just sum everything up in a week-in-review and we’ll see how it goes.
Total Miles: 61.7
The mileage total was about what I wanted heading into the last hard phase of training. My goal is to do at least four consecutive weeks of 60 to 70 miles. If I can, I’d like to go over 70 two of these weeks but we’ll see how things shape up.
The week started with an 8.5 mile run that was fine and uneventful. My long run was the 20-miler. I plan to do four of these 20-milers before the big race and this was the first. I ran at night due to my schedule. I always seem to run slower at night. Maybe it’s my subconscious slowing me down because of the lack of vision of the road…I don’t know. I took it easy anyway. The weather was nice and cool and I finished the run with no real problems. Yes, I was worn out as I always am after a 20-miler but I didn’t feel completely exhausted.
I ran my 6-mile recovery run the next day at night and completed the run but the time was slower than what the effort felt. I wanted to take the run easy and I did time-wise and effort-wise but it still felt slower than my perceived effort. What does this mean? It probably just means I’m a little fatigued.
Due to work scheduling, I woke up at 4am the next day, to attempt a tempo run of between 8.5 and 9 miles. I knew this would be hard and I was dreading such a long and busy day anyway since I wouldn’t be home from 7:15am until 10pm. I already convinced myself this day would be no fun for me. Clearly, not a good way to start the day with that type of thinking. I started my run just before 5am. It was dark and I’d knew my time would be slower than what I hoped. I told myself it’s ok as long as the effort is strong. Sure enough, the first mile was 6:50 which is slower than a typical tempo run. The second mile was mostly downhill so it was faster.
When I hit mile four, I started to feel fatigue. My legs started to hurt more and I had a nervous sensation in my chest. It wasn’t connected to my heart rate as that was normal but I felt anxious. I also developed a headache. I think that was due to possible dehydration because I didn’t drink a lot of water the previous day or after my long run. At the 4.75-mile mark I stopped. I simply ran out of gas. My legs didn’t want to continue. I rested for a minute or so but was determined to finish the run. I continued but kept stopping every quarter-mile to half-mile. I would rest about a minute then continue again. It was a struggle. Running uphill felt like the hardest thing in the world. I never felt this way before during any run. I have stopped in the middle of a run and I have felt bad but not like this. I stubbornly ran/stopped/ran/stopped until finishing a little over eight miles. Finishing those final three-plus miles was pointless and did nothing to help me other than add to my mileage total. I couldn’t even run them hard. I think dehydration was a factor as was lack of sleep, proper eating and stress/anxiety. Not only was I physically unprepared to run long and fast but I wasn’t mentally ready either. I made sure I drank lots of water the rest of the day and ate. I also told myself one bad run is no big deal and I’ll bounce back.
I did bounce back. I ran in the early evening the next day which gave my legs about 36 hours of recovery. It helped when I ran my 12-mile semi-long run. The run was fine. I felt good and my legs didn’t feel worn out. I felt better mentally too as I knew I had a day off the next day which would give me a chance to sleep-in and focus just on running.
The week ended with a descending/ascending interval workout. I ran four sets of 1-mile-800 meters-400 meters which totaled nearly 7 miles. I gave myself about two minutes to 2:15 of recovery between each rep. This workout teaches the body to adjust to different paces since I run each distance at a different pace. In races, you need to be able to pick up the pace or slow down sometimes. If you practice doing that, it becomes easier to manage in a race. This workout was the best interval workout I’ve had since training for the Berlin Marathon. My times were better than I thought and my legs held up well. This workout gave me additional confidence heading into the next three difficult weeks of training.
I started the week off well, finishing a 20-miler with no major struggle, followed by a disaster of a tempo run that may have been my worst ever. I then recovered and had a very good interval workout two days later. The body and mind are quick with the recovery. The mind is quick if you tell yourself it’s ok to have a bad day as long as you know why you had it and learn from it.
Let’s move on to Week #13.
Running With You,