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.