Saturday, February 17, 2007

Week 11 to go

11 weeks seems like such a short amount of time. Counting in weeks is something we athletes do to make our goals seem closer. A 20 week training programme- well, that's manageable. 20 weeks? Nothing. A 5 month training programme for a single event? Nearly half a year? 150-odd days? For some reason all of those sound much bigger. So, weeks it is.

11 weeks seems soon. But with some perspective, I realise that running my first marathon in 11 weeks is not THAT scary. I started my 18-week programme just over a month at week 15-to-go. This makes me about 1/3 of the way through, and that's nothing! My first official long run in this programme seems a world away, and 11 weeks ago- well, that was New Years and it was seriously aaages ago.

Key runs for this week were a bit of a mess. My first run was key run #2- 1 w/up and 7 tempo (8:15-8:30). I decided to run this with my friend A- my thinking being that my tempo would be her comfortable/easyish and that it would be a good way to spend some time together. Unfortunately, A didn't feel like running fast, at ALL, so instead of me puffing along beside her, I was pretty much pulling, and we did 8.75 mi (I think) in about 1:18, for about an 8:54 pace. Not bad, for not too much effort, but not exactly "tempo" either. Oh well- there's more to training for my first marathon than hitting my FIRST pace targets and I'm not going to forget that!

Key run #1 was Thursday morning. I debated sleeping in when the alarm went off- we'd had a late night the night before (Valentines) after getting home late, walking 3 miles to the zoo, walking around the zoo, walking 3 miles back and eating burgers at 9:30pm. I saw my first baby joey in a kangaroo's pouch, as well as some other adorable baby animals! Aww. Anyway, something inside realised that although I had good excuses for being tired, I wasn't, and reminded me how much better I'd feel if I got up. It was a short run today- 5 x 2 mins fast/2 mins slow. I'm not sure how fast I was- not very! I think I covered just under 4km in 20 minutes of workout time- some of which was steep uphill, but the rest of which was flat. But when I got near to home, I didn't want to stop at all. I'd been out for about 40 minutes, including w/up and cool, but that just wasn't cutting it! Unfortunately, I was running late and P was flying out for work, so I needed to scoot up that hill. But it was great to feel that tingle of addiction again! I think part of this can be attributed to skiving off with P's walkman in the morning instead of my ipod. Although it's a bit more cumbersome (though we're talking walkman MP3, not walkman 80s styles here), his tunes are way funner than mine, and also, not the same old tuns I always have. Although the walkman is a creature of the new millenium, the tunes are pure 80s (and some older). Way fun! Highlights were Take on Me during a fast interval, plenty of Michael Jackson, and cruising up the hill during my cool down to Elton John, David Bowie and a current favourite cheesy 80s song, Nik Kershaw's "Wouldn't it be good." Sah-weet. I have got to sort my own tunes out!

I did my long run with C today. I was down for 13 miles at 9:24 pace and it was pretty clear that that wasn't going to happen, so I was able to go with the flow and enjoy our slower pace- nice doing a long run with an average HR of 152! (actually, I really wasnt in the mood for speed- I think I averaged only a little under 10min/mi for the 4 miles I did before meeting C). We had a good chat, ran a nice loop. Including the 4 miles (haha- just typed "hours" for "miles" there) that I did by myself, my run was about 15miles, run in about 2:33 (10:12/mile). That's the longest I've spent on my feet for awhile! After the run, we met the boys and enjoyed shakes and scones. Yum!

I know that pace is fundamental to doing FIRST right, and that I shouldn't be taking off-pace weeks like this too often. However, I have very carefully set aside some key long runs to do to the letter, including a "fast" 13 miler, and my 20-miler. My 20 miler is over Easter, so both my long run buds are away. I'll have P pulling me along for the last 10ks though. It's scary how much I can't wait for these big runs! It's still a whole 3 weeks before I even get to run 16!

I'm in two minds about whether to run the marathon with C. I know it would be a nice thing to do, but how much do I sacrifice me for her? I know I would enjoy some of it, but I also know that I don't want to be running for 5 hours if I don't have to, and that I although I can be patient during a half or a long run, I don't know how patient and supportive I'll be feeling at mile 22! I think it's awesome that Jess has done so many races with her friends, but I am honestly torn. I want to know what I can do. Then again, a slow marathon would leave the Harbour Capital Marathon in late June wide-open for a killer PB! But running the full there would remove the possibility of doing a fast, new-Kate pb (or maybe even old Kate pb) half! Dilemmas. So, vote:

a) Run with C. Do 26.2 in June
b) Run alone, do 13,1 in June
c) Run with C, do 13.1 in June (and 26.2 in October)

Is 2 months between marathons long enough to run a decent time at the second? Will I get that "2nd marathon 20-minute PB" if there's only 2 months between?

In other news, my cycling technique has absolutely improved- P noticed it in Martinborough, and I absolutely felt it during my easy spin during Desperate Housewives on Monday (that show is going downhill fast, but for now it makes for a good weekly trainer date). Cadence is lifting, I can do one leg drills sort of well, I can stand for ages on the trainer, and stand and drink a little on the road. Yay! I am going to keep this weekly ride up so I don't have to start from scratch when I start base training for my half IM (race undecided). I've also discovered that Masters has wrecked me for individual training- my god it's boring! I went for a swim on Weds am and the pool was so packed I couldn't do a structured workout. I got SO bored. Unbelievably bored. I ended up moving down a lane and doing some slower drills, including some work on my IM.


Wes said...

Isn't that the nice thing about running, you can make plans, change them, go with them, and there just isn't a wrong answer. Follow what your heart tells you to do. Very impressive times on those runs too. I know you want to do better, and like you said. You will.

Jessica said...

Okay, so yeah, I've run a lot with my friends. But some races are just for me - and my first marathon was one of those races, and most of my triathlons were for me, too. I think you own this marathon and need to go at your own pace, whatever that will be. For this first time that you complete the marathon, do it for you and alone if you have to; there will be tons of time to run with your friends later.

Also: I don't think 2 months is enough recovery between marathons if you want to PR. After my first, it took me six entire weeks to feel back to normal when running, and I could not have run another marathon so soon. Even if you run slow and do a five-hour marathon the first time, it's still a marathon and your body needs plenty of time to recover.

Rachel said...

Desperate Housewives has gotten pretty bad but you're right, it's nice to have a show for the trainer.

I can't believe you saw a baby joey with a mama kangaroo! Lucky! I got to see a dead coyote on the highway today. It was really sad.

Sounds like your training is going well. Be careful about planning too many races. Marathons are really taxing on the body. I've heard you shouldn't do a long run for at least 6 weeks after 1 marathon. I guess I would err on the side of caution and not do the 2nd one but you know your body better than anyone else.