Week 8 Update

Ah, the cutback week, from which I cut back even more miles.

To recap:
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2.5 miles, road, hill repeats
Wednesday: 4.3 miles, trail
Thursday: rest
Friday: 5 miles, trail
Saturday: 3.2 miles, road, race
Sunday: 8.5 miles, road
Total: 23.4 miles (Plan said to do 30)

Sunday’s run really really really sucked. It was warm, like 70 degrees, which would not be that bad but I was not used to running in the “heat,” so to speak. I wore a hat to keep the sun out of my eyes, since I don’t have prescription sunglasses yet. I need to get on that. The warm weather would not have been a problem on its own, had it not been for the wind. It was relentless. I spent 2.5 mostly uphill miles running directly into the wind and then I turned about 135 degrees and I was still running directly into the wind. I ended up slowing to a walk a few times because it was so awful trying to run into it. I really could have used a hand-held water bottle, or some mints or something to suck on, because the wind was drying out my nose and mouth so badly. I did stop a little over 2 miles in, just to quick use the bathroom and get a drink of water at UMD, and I’m glad I had that little bit of extra water in me.

I also cheated and stopped my watch when I stopped, which I normally don’t do. Since I was going into the very center of the first floor of a building that’s built into the ground on one side, I figured I would lose my GPS signal and that could end up skewing my results.

I hit a 15:15 pace (15:48 when factoring in the break, to keep it honest!), which, I have to be honest, is pretty damned exciting. Yes, I took a short break, but I also ran in some pretty rough conditions, so I’m going to claim the 15:15. I pushed harder than normal, partially because I felt like I could since I had stepped down the mileage this week, and partially because I wanted to see what I could do. These 16-17 minute paced long runs are valuable, I know. Slow long runs are good. But I have no idea what my marathon pace is going to be. I need to test my capabilities a bit. So I did. I didn’t go all out or anything, but I did end up with an average heart rate of 160 bpm, which is high for a long run. I’m not too worried, since I felt great (as in, my legs/back/hips didn’t hurt, I felt totally gross right after the run because I was hot and dirty), but I don’t plan on making it a habit.

This upcoming week includes 38 total miles and a 14 miler on the weekend. The weather looks fabulous, 60s all week, so I can finally retire my neon yellow hoodie for awhile. Which is good, since the zipper pull broke off on Saturday when I was getting my post-race coffee.

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