This marks the first official week of marathon training for me. In the middle of August I started adding in a longer run of about 10 miles each week and was generally running a bit more but I was still in triathlon season. Between traveling for two weeks, starting school and moving back to Baltimore, and doing my last two triathlons of the year it was hard to really focus on training for a marathon. When September rolled around and I saw everyone already doing 16-20 mile long runs I started to get nervous about my own training.
I am happy to say that I am no longer freaking out about whether or not I will be ready to run 26.2 miles come November 3rd. I know that I have a lot of work to do but I am 100 times farther than I was last year at this point and that comforts me.
Wednesday morning I had a bit of a redemption run for Sunday's long run. Sunday I struggled to run 11 miles the day after racing a triathlon. Wednesday morning I ran 10 miles like it was no big deal. Funny how the same distance can be so much easier or harder depending on the day.
10 miles at 8:18 average
I am still in awe of this run. This was actually a track workout featuring 6 x 1 mile repeats. The last time I did mile repeats I averaged 7:41 over the 5 repeats with an overall average for the run of 8:36. My warm up miles were around 9 minute miles and my warm down miles were over 10 minute miles. While I felt pretty good during the repeats I did not feel so hot during the warm up and felt dead during the warm down.
On Wednesday I averaged 7:44 for the mile repeats, which is three whole second slower than last time. It's how much faster my warm up and cool down were that makes this run impressive to me because I wasn't pushing the pace then at all and went considerably faster than last time. I also had more energy to complete the distance. When warming down I felt like I could have kept running for awhile, instead of counting down the tenths until I could stop.
7:50, 7:47, 7:39, 7:48, 7:49, 7:31
As you can see in my splits, right under a 7:50 was what my body wanted to run on Wednesday. When I would try to speed up it was always way too much, and that's how that last mile became so much faster than the others. It was more that I couldn't lock into the 7:45 pace that I was supposed to.
This run was also a mental battle. The first time I did mile repeats the workout portion seemed to fly by. This time I felt like I was out there the entire day. After the first one I was having a hard time wrapping my head around still having to by 5 more. By the end I was so happy I stuck it out though. I got to the track before the cross country team and left after them. I worked my butt off and finished 10 miles by just after 9 in the morning.