Sunday, February 26, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 7

Week 7 looks a lot like Week 6 with a few more miles tacked on. The week proceeded on schedule and smoothly enough. Here's the run-down. 

Six easy near home in shorts. Shorts! In CLE! In February!

I ran on tired, heavy legs. I reminded myself that Mondays are the reset button in training. Mondays I shake things out. Mondays I run easy and tell my legs to gear up because we're doing this again. Today I took comfort in knowing the rhythm of the training cycle.

Seven miles of hills. My mid-week running buddy caught the cruddies, so I was left to my own devices. I decided, finally, to try Cedar Hill, the sole you-won't-blink-and-miss-it hill near me.

My alarm went off. I closed my eyes for what should have been five minutes. It was 20. I dragged myself out of bed, reminding myself how disappointed I'd be if I swapped tomorrow's rest day for this, and it rained tomorrow. Or if I had to do 7 miles on a treadmill. So I dragged myself out of bed and left.

This one's going to take doing a few times to figure out the best place to park and the best way to run it so I can get all the way to the bottom twice. I ran all the way to the bottom and back up once, then did what I thought was about half of it a second time, but it turned out to be less than half the elevation change. I ended up with 315 feet in elevation gain.

Lessons learned:
  • Run this one as early as I feel comfortable going. Even the edge of rush hour traffic is unpleasant on this route. 
  • This 315 elevation gain is easily harder than the 500+ feet I was doing on the treadmill a few weeks back. Watching footing, not running in a perfectly straight line. Concentrating most of the gain in a relatively short stretch of the course. 
  • Take my phone, or preferably Shannon, next time so when (not if) I feel uncertain where to turn, I have a reference.
Rest day. Took clothes to do office yoga. The day got away from me. Will try again next week.

Five mile pace run. I'm having a difficult time settling into race pace. I either run way too fast or struggle to get fast enough. On this one, I was also encountering some combination of allergies (because it was so warm, I think) and a cold, along with everyone else in the CLE. I'll get there on pace. I'll find the right gear.

Five miles easy. Seventy degrees. Crazy. Beautiful.

Saturday: aka, the run of things I didn't know existed

Friday night we had friends over for dinner and a game night. As we sat playing and drinking and carrying on, we caught flashes of lightening and claps of thunder. It rained, and rained, and rained. I grew concerned about running on the Towpath in the morning, as Shannon and I had planned, due to mud. Sometime after midnight I texted her that maybe we should switch to running closer to me, where we could run neighborhood streets and a paved path nearby.

Thing I'd never heard of #1: She suggested the Bike and Hike Path. It was just exactly what we needed. It runs near the Towpath but is entirely paved. No mud. Allegedly has bathrooms. Also shout out to First Energy here.

We met about 8:30, as late as we dared given the forecast and the fact that my younger son had a birthday party to be at later. We headed south.

Thing I didn't know existed #2: Brandywine Falls. Sadly I'm blocking a lot of the falls in this picture, but it is beautiful. This is not even the first time Shannon's taken me to a waterfall I didn't know about.

We kept moving, which for Shannon required superhuman strength because she was pushing her two girls in a double stroller, which rings in about about 115lb. Our run was mostly flat but had some short, steep hills. Since she would inevitably catch me on the downhill, I went ahead on the uphill stretches here and there. I didn't know she snapped this pic until much later. What a beautiful morning we had.

She turned in an impressive 8 miles then sat in her car hating me for about 20 minutes while I carried on. The miles that followed were largely like the first 8, just a little more tired. At run's end, I'd done 18 miles, 580 feet elevation gain, and a 9:30 pace.

I kid you not, the second I set foot in the parking lot at the end of the run, a snowflake landed on my arm. I went home and showered and left for the birthday party with sleet-esque snow dancing on my windshield and wind whipping. So glad I got this run done when I did. And yes, it was 70 degrees on Friday and snowing on Saturday. CLE!

This brought me to Thing I didn't know existed #3: The Jump Yard. It's one of those sensory-overload places for kids. I happily checked in my son and walked myself next door to a little restaurant and ate a BLT. And all those fries. And two more cups of coffee. And smiled the entire time.

Post-run lunch
Total miles: 42
Favorite run: Easily the long run for conversation and new scenery. Happy to have figured out something of a hill route earlier in the week, too.
Other: I'm hoping this cold/allergies will go away. 


Black Knight said...

That elevation chart is scary!

Joanna said...

Black Knight--the chart is scarier than the actual hill!