Week 13 (9/15 - 9/21)
This week I worked through some pretty rough blisters left over from the Parks Half-Marathon and finally got in a long run (my first in about two months). I'm feeling pretty good and, although I know I won't run anywhere close to a PR at the Baltimore Marathon on October 11, I'm fairly confident I will be able to snag another Boston Qualifier as I pace a friend in his attempt to run the distance in three hours. Since I plan to run the Boston Marathon in 2010, when I will be 40, my qualifying time is 3:20. This week I have resumed my strength training routine of natural resistance exercises and my body seems to be responding (I took about a month off to see if it would help my body heal up). It was rough, however, for the first few days. I also received some free supplies this week (a T-shirt from nuun and a bunch of gels from If The Shoe Fits) and that's always a good way to boost mood and motivation. Many thanks to everyone for all your support!
Monday - An hour-long elliptical session. I kept it easy and controlled for this recovery workout on the day after the Parks Half-Marathon.
Tuesday - A 40-minute reverse elliptical session (+ 15 minute forward cool-down). My legs seemed to be recovering pretty well so the workout was good. I didn't push too hard.
Wednesday - A 45-minute elliptical session. I didn't have enough time for a longer workout, so I did what I could. I was able to move pretty well.
Thursday - An 8-mile run. Although I popped a nasty blister at the base of my middle toe, I had my best run in a long time. It felt good to push the pace a little bit.
Friday - An 8-mile run. I took this one easy and maintained a relaxed pace. I didn't try and push since I'm still trying to get my body reacclimatized to runs on back-to-back days.
Saturday - An hour long spin on my bike trainer. I do enough to keep a decent sweat going as I watch Sports Center.
Sunday - A 16.5-mile run. Not a great performance, but I can't be too upset since I was able to finish my first long run in a couple of months. I had hoped to have more left at the end, but it was not to be. I ended up averaging around 6:45 pace. On my cool down I ran past my wife and daughters in our X-Terra as they were returning from apple picking. They pace me back to the house and my daughters walk a couple blocks with me before I head in for lunch. After a quick bite of whole wheat pasta and some apple cider, I stick my legs in an ice bath.
Based on my original SmartCoach plan, this was to be my last hard week of training before I start my taper for the Baltimore Marathon on October 11 (although, from experience, the first taper week is fairly rigorous). I'm a bit nervous about running the marathon distance with so few long runs, but I don't want to start over-training in an attempt to cram in extra miles. I'd rather arrive at the starting line under-trained and healthy than show up with tired legs or not show up at all due to injuries. I am hoping to race a flat 10K next weekend in order to get in some higher intensity work while cutting back the mileage. This week, my sponsors earned many thanks!