Sunday, February 12, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 5

An easy 4 on a crisp, clear morning. Soft color--pinks and blues and oranges--on the horizon. A thrill to the heart of all runners: We'll have morning sunlight soon.

Tuesday: A Haiku
Slept badly, in fits
Woke up to run, to strong rain 

Slept more, felt human

Because I live in Ohio, and because 7 miles is past my patience for running on a treadmill, it took a little work to find "the hilliest route you can find," as instructed by ye olde training plan. 

Being the proud data geek I am, I decided not to guess about this. Did you know you can view your area's topo map, complete with street lines and names, for free online? Go here, click Custom Views, Maps, then type in your town (and zoom in if necessary) until you can see street names. Pretty cool, huh? I used this to identify the hilliest possible route I could safely run in the dark by myself.

Data doesn't lie. Look at that! I ran from my house to the "hilly area" and ran three laps of it, not quite finishing the third, but turning back toward home instead. 

While producing one of the prettiest hill elevation graphs, each of those "hills" is only about 20 feet in elevation gain, so on the whole it's not a lot. On the other hand, it was the longest mid-week run so far this training cycle, and I did it significantly faster than I did my treadmill hill workouts. I'm really pleased with this one.

I met Shannon and her dog at 6am for 4 miles with 2 at race pace (8:52). Krowa's a sweet dog with a hair trigger on his bladder. Against the laws of physiology, this dog can fully unload its bladder every quarter of a mile. And since we were running neighborhood streets in a neighborhood I'm still not super familiar with, Shannon just yelled "keep running straight and we'll catch you" a few times. A few other times--four, actually--which you can plainly see on this pace read out, I stopped too. I don't know how our runs are so universally ridiculous, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

We met and exceeded our race pace goal, turning in an 8:41 and 8:45 for the middle miles.

I crawled back into bed for a bit when I got home, and that was a terrible idea. I had enough sweat on me that I just simply froze, and no amount of covers could warm me up. It was the first time the cold has bothered me this winter. Lesson learned: just move on with the day.

Just four easy miles, but 20 degrees and felt like 8. Tall girl tip: if your tights don't cover your ankles, wear ski socks. Bonus, they not only cover your ankles, but they keep your feet and lower legs warm too.

Long run: 16 miles. Laurie and I met at 7:30 at the Towpath again, but at a different trail head than before. For the vast majority of our miles, the path was covered in a thin layer of snow and occasionally some ice. For some miles the snow/ice slowed us down to where 9:45 minute miles were the best reasonable target. And, that was just fine. We saw some deer, several historic mills and other sites, plenty of other runners. Laurie was doing 18, so she missed the photo opp at the end.

These 16 miles felt incredibly easy. I only felt a little tired for about a mile, and even that was no big deal.

Sunday: rest

Total weekly miles: 35
Favorite run: It's always hard to pick. My Monday run was good for my soul. My runs with Shannon somehow usually become comical, which I love. But the long run is hard to beat, so I'll say that. New places, good conversation, felt good.

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