Last week was pretty miserable. Even though I managed to post 71 miles, they weren't easy or altogether enjoyable miles thanks to a nasty head cold or, possibly, the flu since it's going around. I don't know for sure because I despise going to the doctor almost as much as I despise missing a day of running. I figured that either way, cold or flu, the doctor wouldn't have a magic pill to make me instantly better and would've just told me to rest, which is just plain crazy. So, I powered through with the hopes that things would go much better this week, and they did. See, I don't need no stinkin doctor!
Monday - 6 miles recovery in the morning and another 4 in the afternoon.
Tuesday - Repeat of Monday.
Wednesday - 15 miles easy. The word "easy" only refers to the overall pace. This workout ended up being tougher to get done than it should have. It was cold in the morning when I started, about 8 degrees with a windchill below zero. I bundled up and headed out but it was soon obvious that this was going to be a miserable experience, much like the 16 mile frigid run a week earlier that had contributed to my sickness in the first place. So, after 6 miles I shedded my extra layers and headed to the gym to run the final 9 miles on the indoor track.
Thursday - Repeat of Monday and Tuesday.
Friday - 12 miles with 6 at tempo pace. This was my first tempo workout that I've been able to complete outside and, probably not coincidentally, it was the first good tempo workout that I've had this training cycle. My goal tempo pace is about 6:45-6:50 and I ended up cranking out 6:41, 6:47, 6:37, 6:42, 6:40 and 6:37 for those 6 miles.
Saturday - 8 miles recovery. I ran the first 6 with the running club and then headed out for another 2 after everyone else (all three of them) left.
Sunday - 22 miles. This was only the second 22 miler I've done during training....the only times I've run further were during a marathon or 50K. Finally, I was blessed with nearly perfect running weather. It was probably in the mid-30s when I started, but by the time I got done it was approaching 50. Skies were overcast for most of the run and there was just a slight breeze. Even though it was a little chilly when I started, I ran the entire way in shorts and a t-shirt (and hat and gloves) because I knew it would warm up. At the 20 mile point, I glanced at my watched and saw that I had exactly 15 minutes left before hitting 3 hours, so I decided to push it the last two miles and try to get in under 3 hours. Ended up with a 2:59:45. And, the best part, I wasn't very sore at all yesterday afternoon or evening....it almost seems like I'm less sore if I push it hard toward the end of a long run than if I just slog through at a slow pace the entire way. Odd...
Total - 87 miles, a new personal weekly record by 7 miles!!
Now, if I can just avoid any more illnesses and keep this good mojo going, I might actually be in pretty decent shape come May 4th. The biggest test so far will come this Sunday, when I have to run 16 miles with 12 of them at marathon pace.
I also got to weigh myself for the first time in a few weeks because we finally bought a scale for the house. I'm sitting at 202.8, so still losing weight slowly but surely. I'm oh-so-close to being under 200 (and actually was after I lost 4 lbs. during my long run, but I guess that doesn't really count).