I honestly don't know where to start when describing this past week. To put it simply: it was a good one. I reached a total of three milestones: one I never would have believed I could reach a couple of years ago, one I knew I could reach but haven't been able to grasp for a few weeks and another that's less significant, but a milestone all the same. Here's what went down and when:
Monday - 8 recovery in the morning, 5 recovery in the afternoon. For some reason, my legs feel sluggish coming off the cutback week.
Tuesday - 8 recovery in the morning, 5 in the afternoon. For the first time since I can remember, I come away from a run with road rash. That's right, I managed to trip and fall not once, but twice during the morning 8 miler, which is ironic because it was great weather with clear and dry streets. Throughout this entire winter, while running on black ice and packed snow, I've only fallen twice and both of those times led to nothing but a bruised ego. The culperate was the long laces on my Mizuno Wave Riders. Both times I fell, my left foot got caught in the loop from one of my right shoelaces and down I went. The first time I broke my fall with my hands, bloodying my palms and left leg in the process. And, even worse, there were two vehicles right there when it happened. At least if I'm gonna fall, I could do it when no was is looking. Then, not two miles later, the same thing happened (minus the onlookers). The second time, I managed to roll into it more and spare additional road rash to my hands, although my hip was sore for a couple of days as a result. In any case, my legs still felt sluggish. Don't know why.
Wednesday - 15 easy. My legs still feel sluggish early on, but finally wake up a little towards the end. I've noticed that this is often the case: if my legs are feeling heavy for a couple of days, they often break out of it during a medium-long run.
Thursday - 7 recovery in the morning, 4 in the afternoon. Totally uneventful, which is good.
Friday - 12 including 7 at tempo pace in the morning, 4 recovery in the afternoon. I wasn't sure how the tempo workout was going to go based on how my legs had felt earlier in the week, but it ended up going great. My target pace was 6:45 per mile and I ended up averaging 6:39 with the last couple hovering around 6:30. I actually remember almost nothing about the last tempo mile; the pace had become comfortable enough that my mind was wandering and before I knew it I was at the end of the mile and I had held the pace and then some.
Saturday - 8 easy. This was supposed to be recovery pace, but I went running with another guy and we ended up pushing the pace a little more than I probably should have, but it felt pretty good. My running partner is a former college cross country runner and ran one marathon, way back in 1981 (when I was 3), but he ran the damn thing in 2:31, so he was a speedster in his day.
Sunday - 24 long. This is the furthest I've ever run outside of a marathon or ultra. My legs felt good early, kind of heavy in the middle and then great at the end and my last mile ended up being the fastest. Really, the only thing that went wrong during the run was that I had to stop three times to go #2 (too much information, I know). The first time I accepted without much concern, but the other two came after I had taken a hit of Hammer Gel, which has me concerned. I've been training with Hammer all year and never had this happen and definitely don't want it to happen during the marathon. I'd really hate to miss out on a BQ by a matter of seconds because I wasted a couple of minutes in a porta john. For now, I'll just hope that it had more to do with something I may have eaten on Saturday.
Total - 100 miles. For the first time ever, and maybe the last time for a long, long time, I hit the century mark!
So, that explains the milestone I never would have believed I'd reach (100 miles) and the less significant one (the 24 mile training run). Last, but certainly not least, is the milestone I've been so close to the past few weeks but just couldn't attain. As I've mentioned several times on this blog, I'm trying to drop some weight before Colorado and so far this year have gone from 211 at the New Year to 200 a couple of weeks ago and then, disappointingly, back up to 201 last week. Well, on Saturday morning when I stepped on the scale I finally saw the number I've been expecting to see for the last couple of weeks: 199.0. I finally managed to dip under the 200 mark for the first time in at least two years! I'm still built more like a football player than a marathoner, but at least I'm a slightly more trim football player-like marathoner.