Sunday, February 22, 2009

Number 9, number 9...

Ahhh... the Beatles. Revolution #9. One really has to wonder about the state of mind they were in when they did the White Album, or at least for a few of the tracks. Perhaps one of the greatest albums of all time.

Which brings me to this week's adventures. The state of mind of a marathoner can be a delicate thing. Full of positive energy one moment, and scattered in the wind the next. It's 20 miles of physical training and 6.2 of mental. Today's run was an example of how the mind is a terrible thing, and it must be stopped.

Monday - the first of two rest days this week. I originally thought that it would be easy this week having that second rest day... yeah, what a novel concept that was.

Tuesday - 4 x mile on the track with a long warm up and cool down. I had to do this on my own this week due to my work schedule, but it wasn't too bad. 5:48, 5:53, 5:57, and 5:44. Mental lapse in the 2 middle miles. It's so much easier to do these workouts when I have someone to trade off the pace work.

Wednesday - 6.3 miles in the Nature Trail. Serenity now, insanity later... saw 2 deer in the early morning mist. Actually a very good run just losing myself in the twists and turns of the trail.

Thursday - originally supposed to be 10-12, but due to a last minute class at work had to swap my rest day over to today. Runners in training don't like it when things out of their control get in the way. Will this come back to haunt me? Mentally... duh... yeah, it will.

Friday - fully rested and time for some harder tempo work. 9.8 miles with the middle 7 @ 6:45 pace. While this seems relatively easy considering other tempo and pace work I do, it had a lot of hill work. I'm pretty sure that my quads will not be happy tomorrow.

Saturday - really wishing that Friday had been my rest day and yes, my quads are tired. 8.2 miles @ 6:50 average pace. I find it ironic that even when tired and thinking that I'm holding back, I'm really not. Go figure.

Sunday - yup, had to force myself out the door today. The last 2 days were hard on my legs and I've got 20-23 on the schedule. I did a 20.5 mile route keeping it as flat as possible. I figured that I needed a break from the hills. Initially trying to hold back as I wanted to be fresh at the end, or at least that was my intent. Through the first 13.1 (checking my half marathon tempo), I was under 1:31. My Boston pace should be about 1:28, so I'm a little fast but feeling OK. I slow it down a little to try and keep things under control. At 14.5, I make the turn back to head into downtown. I had felt little gusts of wind throughout the morning, but nothing that lasted long. Not so lucky this time... the next 4-5 miles had a strong, consistent headwind. It was brutal and it eventually took it's toll on me. The last 2 miles were tough, and although I probably could have continued on, I was back to the car at 20.5. Good enough for today considering what the wind had done to me. I averaged 7:05 pace even with that wind, but it wasn't pretty.

So far I've done two 20 mile runs in tough conditions. This is good... what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. Next week I get a break from the mileage as my schedule has a taper before building back into the next phase of pain.

On my whiteboard at work it reads - "The Marathon can humble you..." - Bill Rogers

Simple but true.

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