After five weeks of 96, 96, 85, 100 and 92 miles, it was time for a cutback. Let me tell ya, it was very refreshing, mostly mentally, to "only" have to run 75 miles. And, the cutback week ended up coming at the perfect time because I ended up having to drive to Rapid City every day for work to attend the most boring training (Contracting Officer's Representative) devised by man. As a bonus, the weather was awesome for most of the week with highs in the 50s or low 60s. I say "most" because of course it's still winter in South Dakota, so Mother Nature had to get at least one pot shot in.
Monday - 6 in the morning, 4 in the afternoon. It almost felt dirty to only run 6 miles in the morning. I usually run 10-12 on a Monday morning. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it, it just felt odd. I squeezed the afternoon run in during an hour-long lunch break from the aforementioned training. Sure, I might have stunk a little afterwards with no shower available, but damn it, I needed to get out and do something after sitting through that bore fest.
Tuesday - 10.26
Wednesday - 12 including 2 miles warmup, 4x12 minutes tempo with 2 min. recoveries, and 2 miles cooldown. I bumped this workout up one day again this week because the weather forecast said it might rain on Thursday. I also had to do this in the morning instead of afternoon (which I prefer for speedwork) because of class. My pace was slightly slower than it has been for past tempo workouts, but not horribly so.
Thursday - 7 in the morning, 4 in the afternoon.
Friday - 7 with 8 strides.
Saturday - 6 on black ice. Friday afternoon and through the night we got a mixture of freezing rain and freezing fog, which basically turned the local roads into a skating rink. I spent a majority of the run just trying to stay upright and hoping any passing traffic stayed on the road. I was successful with the traffic part, mostly successful with the upright part....I did fall once, but not too bad.
Sunday - 19 with 15 at marathon pace. Overall, this went much better than the marathon pace run I did a few weeks ago. After two miles of warmup, I started in on the MP miles and was hovering around 7:05 for the first 3 of those. Then, literally out of nowhere, the wind went from pretty much dead calm to blowing like a bastard, straight into my face no less. My pace slowed as I struggled into the wind and before I knew it I was laying down 7:30ish miles that felt much, much harder. Finally, after 4.5 miles of headwind, I turned around and headed back towards home. Consequently, the wind was at my back and my pace immediately returned to the 7:00-7:05 range, where it stayed for the next 7.5 miles. Best of all, that pace actually felt pretty comfortable for most of that 7.5 mile stretch, something that couldn't be said for any mile out of my last MP run.
Total - 75.26 miles
I've got one last big week on tap for this week. Looks like Mother Nature also has another shot of winter on tap, as we're currently getting snow and it's not supposed to stop until sometime tomorrow night, complete with negative windchills. Should make things interesting... In any case, after this week my mileage will begin a gradual descent leading up to April 20th. I won't lie to ya, the allure of running 90-100 mile weeks has worn off a bit. I'm looking forward to getting to Boston already.