Marathon Training: It is starting to get 'real'

I started the month of August by getting back to a 4-day run schedule.  I got in a 4-mile Treadmill run on Tuesday to start off the week.  My second run ended up on Friday where I got 3.7-mile Easy Run done in the neighborhood.  I think this was the first run at home since July 15.  Only a handful of my runs in July were actually  in Illinois.  Crazy!

So that left me with two more runs for the week -- one on Saturday and the other on Sunday.  That means three consecutive runs through the weekend.  I don't usually like to have runs on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday but it kind of worked out that way (I prefer to have at least one weekend day as a Rest Day).  Oh well, you gotta do what you gotta do.

On Saturday, I joined Mike for a 10K run with the LifeTime Run Club.  We don't usually run with them so Mike thought it would be cool to go out with them this time, rather than just heading out on our own.  It was a basic 5K out-and-back on a route that included my 'Cardiac Hill'.  When we got to the hill, I ran down at a 7:45/mm pace for the 1/3 mile length.  That was fun!  I have to admit to walking up the hill on the way back though.  I did a fair amount of walking on the way back due to the heat and humidity but still finished the run with a 13:00/mm overall pace.  Not bad for a Long Run.  You can never go too slow on a Long Run.

On Sunday, I got up early to watch the Olympic Women's Marathon and to get ready for my second Long Run, this time with my Road Runners marathon training group.  It was amazing watching them run that race.  Unfortunately, I had to leave when they reached the 13-mile marker.  It was cool thinking that they were running while I was running.

It was a nice morning for a run, 65F was a nice starting temp.  The humidity was still rather high at 85% and there was no wind, but it was still the best starting temp I've seen since May.  I started with the 11:00/mm pace group but ran around a 10:30/mm pace for the first 6 miles.  I think the cooler temp got the group moving a little faster than usual.  After our water station at 6 miles (yeah, our Long Runs are supported with water/Gatorade stations), I slowed down a bit and took a few 1-minute walk breaks as the temps increased.

When I finished the course and checked my watch, I realized the course was about 1/3 mile short of the 10-mile planned distance.  Seriously?  Well, I decided that was close enough for me since I had run the day before.  So it was a 9.7 mile day at an 11:16/mm pace.  Much better than my pace last Sunday in Tennessee, so I was pleased with that.

I ended the week with 23.5 miles.  My total marathon training miles to-date: 139.2.  (My total mileage for 2012 is 615!)  From now on, the mileage really starts to increase as my Long Runs climb towards 20 miles.  I have a 15-mile Long Run coming up, followed by other Long Runs of 16, 18, and 20 (with 12-13 mile cutback runs in between).  I have about 225 more miles to run between now and October 1st.

I am going to have to buy a new pair of running shoes soon.  The ones I am wearing now will be worn out by October.  I am not sure yet whether I am buying a pair of Saucony Kinvara 3s or another pair of Brooks PureCadence.  I might buy both (and replace the aging pair of PureCadence and Newton Distance).

Next week, I will be running on Tuesday (intervals), Wednesday, Friday (15-mile Long Run), and Saturday (recovery walk).  On Sunday, I have a 5K Race that my Road Runners club is sponsoring, so I decided to run that race as a Tempo Run.

Why the Long Run on a Friday?  Well, because my son and I are going to the Chicago Comic Con on Friday and staying overnight at the host hotel.  I won't have the opportunity to do the Long Run on Saturday morning, and Sunday is a race day.  So I figure I can get up early on Friday to get the Long Run done, and then use Comic Con as a nice recovery walk since we'll be walking all over the Convention Center for the rest of the day (and I can always rest in the hotel if I need a break).

It should be fun!

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