Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bring it.

Yep, September is rolling around. The long awaited month-before-the-marathon is approaching, and it is, in my esteemed coach's words, 'the toughest month of marathon training.'

Bring it on, kids.

This week has been strange. I had a 'short' 5k race this past Saturday in Sherman Hill. As the name indicates, the quaint neighborhood is full of intense hills. And although it was advertised as a 5k, it was really 2.86 miles. Lame. I finished first in my age group (again, bring it), but there was no time to celebrate, as I had to get in another seven miles immediately following my race. Who knew that seven miles could be more gruelling than a 14-miler? Seriously. It's crazy how mentally challenging it is to continue running after a race.

On Monday, my coach 'gave' me an easy day of six miles. And then I met with him on Wednesday. My face-to-face training sessions freak me out a bit. And they kinda pump me up. Oh, the paradox of running! Anywho, the plan was to run 3x10-minutes at tempo pace with a two minute jog between each. I was able to put in negative splits at my interval pace.

Yep, bring on September.

I'm ready.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Week Blah Blah Blah of Marathon Training...

So, it's August. Mid-August, to be exact. State Fair time. And where have I been? No, not in the hog barn gawking at large beasts while eating a fried Twinkie and a tenderloin. I've been logging miles and miles of endless pavement and sweat (and more sweat) in extreme humidity.

I *think* I'm in my sixth week of marathon training. Don't ya like how I'm not really sure how long I've been officially training? It seems like my entire existance is centered around my four runs of each week. They look something like this (more or less):

Monday: Speed work. Swoon.
Wednesday: Tempo or Kenyan run. Smile.
Friday: 4-5 mile easy run. La di-da.
Saturday: Long run. Uhhh, okay.
Sunday: EAT.

Monday is track day. I like Mondays. A lot. There's nothing like driving home from the track at 7 AM, completely drenched in sweat and ready for Monday. It's a great way to start off the week.

Wednesday is usually a quick run around the neighborhood. Tempo runs and Kenyan runs are not as fun as track days. I like that Wednesdays are usually challenging, though; I find that the last half mile of the tempo run is the toughest part for me. So, I guess I'm doing it right (at least that's what my coach tells me).

Fridays are easy. I don't put too much thought into these nice, smooth runs. I try to ENJOY these, but I find it difficult not to increase speed in the last mile. Yes, I need to learn a little discipline, folks!

And then Saturday rolls around. Remember those days of running races while completely hungover (and perhaps still intoxicated)? No more partying for this girl. I'm in bed by 10 PM on Friday nights, only to wake up at 5:40 on Saturday morning. After a small bowl of oats and agave syrup, I'm off for a long run. All by myself. In the dark. No one to talk to. But myself.

I think I need to join a group for these long ones. Boredom has started to creep in...

Yep. It's Week Blah Blah Blah of Marathon Training.