Last week, I ran 26.78 miles, including my longest run to-date of 16 miles. This brings my total Marathon Training mileage to 194.4! That represents over 41 hours of 'foot time'! I can't wait to celebrate crossing that 200-mile training milestone by the end of this week. August will definitely be another 100+ mile month as I continue to train hard for my first Full in October.
I continued with speed work doing 3x500m intervals, with the run segments averaging a 9:20/mm pace. I was really pleased with how the training felt as far as my breathing and overall energy levels were throughout. Then I followed that a few days later with an easy 5K run at a 10:20/mm pace during which I felt strong along Miller Road which is basically a 1.5 mile continuous incline one way on an out-and-back route.
But the big challenge last week was on Saturday morning, when my friend Mike and I ran a 16-mile Long Run along a different path than usual. It was a cool morning which was very refreshing as we crossed several bridges along a very scenic bike path. I decided to run this in my new Kinvara 3s figuring I needed to know if they would feel good during a long distance. They were pretty comfortable so that was encouraging.
I was only planning on running at a 12:00/mm pace, but I felt so good that we ended up running the entire 16 miles at an average 11:15/mm pace instead. I was pretty strong for the first 13 miles, but then ran out of gas during the last 5K, so I have to thank Mike for encouraging me to 'dig deep' and finish out those last few miles at a run. I think part of my 'burnout' was due to me sprinting about 1/2 mile leading up to Mile 13 (as if it were the end of a Half Marathon race). That took more out of me than I had anticipated. Mike kept telling me to slow down but I was in the groove. Well, lesson learned!
After the Long Run, I got cleaned up and went to my son's high school for a parent's meeting with the coaching staff of all the fall sports programs (my son decided to run Cross Country as an incoming Freshman (I am so proud!) and he is already running 4 miles every morning). Well this meeting was for telling parents how to encourage their children in positive ways, and to leave the coaching to the coaching staff. LOL They followed that with an all-you-can-eat brat/hotdog party. After that, we got to meet with our son's Cross Country coach, sign up to help with the meets, and hear about the season. Pretty fun for me (I couldn't resist -- I wore my IL Half Marathon tech shirt).
The next morning, my son and I were going to run his Cross Country training route, but when 5AM came, he was no where to be found. He was so asleep, I just left him there and went out to do a 5K Recovery Run. I wanted to give my tired legs a quick 'shake out' and see how that would feel. My legs were definitely tired but they were also steady. I took the run at a 10:45/mm pace and the legs, knees, and feet responded pretty well, even on the inclines. So I was happy with that, and the legs felt okay the whole day.
Well, today I saw a Groupon 'deal' for a Half Marathon in December down in Indianapolis (the Santa Hustle HM/5K). Many of my fellow Half Fanatics are going to be there for the race which should make it even more fun! You get a Santa hat, white beard, and a long-sleeve tech shirt that looks like Santa's coat (and a cool Finishers Medal of course). I don't have any races in December lined up, and this one falls right into my Goofy Training schedule (one week before my taper for the WDW Marathon Weekend).
So I signed up for only $35! And on top of that, the organizing company is located about 20 minutes from my house so I can pick up my packet here before driving down to Indy. How cool is that! So I run this on Saturday, Dec 16th as a training run, then drive home, and then run a 20-mile Long Run the next day (which will be my last back-to-back Goofy training weekend). I figure doing this will be as close to experiencing the Goofy as I am going to get before the actual event in January 2013. I will have plenty of time to taper -- rest and recover -- so that I am fully ready for the the WDW Marathon Weekend!