Saturday, September 30, 2006

End Training Week 7

As of tomorrow I have 6 weeks, or 42 days, or a month and half until the OBX marathon.

I feel ready.

Here is my week:
Sunday: It was rough after my almost back to back long runs but I went to the gym and ran 4 miles in just under 31 minutes. I walked it out about a half mile for a cool down. Then I did 30 minutes of upper body strength training and then some serious stretching.

Monday: Rest, went to see Tara and the baby.

Beau didn't go to school so I didn't get to run until the afternoon. Did a very nice 10 mile run at about an 8 minute mile pace.

Wednesday: I wasn't sure what my plan was but figured I go out and try for at least a 12 miler. I ended up feeling pretty good and did 18 at about a 9 minute mile pace. Then the kids insisted we go to the gym--they love that Kid's Club-- so I did 30 minutes cross training and 30 minutes upper body weights and stretching.

In the morning I went out planning to run 6 but as soon as I hit that first downhill--uphill was okay, little stiff--my knees started hurting. I turned around and jogged slowly back home. Only made it about a mile and half total. I took some Motrin and then later jogged the half mile to Carmella's school to test out the legs. Better. So in the evening we went to the gym and I did 4 miles again in just under 31 minutes. I walked a mile cool down and then stretched really good.

I ran 6 on the treadmill at about a 7:50 pace. I finshed off with a cool down jog for a mile. Then I stretched. I caught some ladies snickering at me but what do I care. As I have said I am pretty flexible so it does a little contorting at times for me to get a stretch.
It was a tough run on the mill. But my thinking/plan has been to try and do 10K runs on my tired sore legs the next day or the day after long runs in under an 8 minute pace per mile. My thinking here is that this will mimick how I will feel in the marathon and I can bust out a fast 10K there at the end. In fact, I have been trying to run all my shorter runs in under 8 minute miles. Additionally, I have also been running the last few miles of my long runs in under marathon pace to further perpare myself to push hard at the end.

Saturday: I gotta say I was having some serious anxiety about my long run today. I was still a little sore and stiff in the leg and hips despite all my contortions. Yesterday I used an internet tool that will map your runs. After trying out a few different routes I finally settled the most logical because of the sidewalks and potential pitstops. Unfortunately a very hilly course with some hills I normally try to avoid but in this area hills are unavoidable and this course was really the best option. After today, provided the weather cooperates, the OBX should prove easier--at least the course.
According to the site it mapped the run at 24.67 miles. It ended up being 24.48 miles according to Garmin. I don't know if that is because I made a mistake and went down a different road or is because I forgot to turn Garmin on once after stopping at a light. I don't think it was off for that long though. Doesn't matter really. I wanted to run between 24 and 25 miles today and I did.
And, I think, I did great. I was really slow starting out and had those naysays in my head from the beginning. I think around the 6 mile mark I was at a 9:20 avg pace and walked up this one monster hill. I really questioned then how I was going to go the distance. But then a few miles later I saw these cyclists that I had seen when I first started and they clapped and gave me a thumbs up. I stopped around 12 miles and bought some gatorade and after that I really started feeling better. I don't know if it was being at the halfway point or the gatorade but by the 14th mile I had pushed the avg pace to 9:10. Around that time I passed two walkers who yelled "You go girl!" as I charged up a hill. At the 17th mile a guy rolled down his window when I ran in front of his car at a light and smiled and gave me a thumbs up. Then some landscapers I had passed earlier in one of the neighborhoods cheered as they drove past me.
I reached the 20 mile point in around 3 hours and 6 minutes.
I know a lot of people do not like the Pogues but I have to say them and Johnny Cash put a spring in my step and smile on my face and I pushed the pace down even further. I ran those last four miles in under my marathon pace (which is 8:30.) I know when I finished Garmin was reading 7:16 pace!!!!! So yup, I finished strong. Just under 24 and half miles in 3 hours and 40 minutes with an average pace of 9:03.

I have 6 weeks to figure out how to fit a another mile and half in that time and I am going to Boston!!!!! (Actually, a BQ allows for a time of 3:45.) I am very hopeful.

Total Mileage:68 (70+ if you count all the miles I walked as cool downs and from my aborted run).
Items Found: Some optimism.


  1. Howdy! WOW!! You had a very strong week, your current speed is amazing, YOU ARE READY!! I'd have optimism too if I had your training speed has been very inconsistent, I still have about 10 weeks left to match your pace so I can also finish with a BQ of 3:45. I should follow your example and speed up the end of my long training runs at under marathon pace. You're a great motivator for me. Happy trails, Bruce

  2. Thanks Bruce! I have no doubt you will surpass me in speed and ability. While your speed may not be consistent your training has been. 10 weeks is almost as long as my training schedule. You'll do great.

  3. Whoo hooo! Way to go Nat! Wish I had known that you were going to be over this way - we could have brought you out some gatorade and slapped your hand on the way by. : )