Log for August 13 – Training for Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9th. Goal for the fall and winter marathon season is to break 3:15 for the first time.
- 16-Mile Marathon Workout – As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I was really nervous about this workout. The plan was to do 4 sets of 30-minute intervals, 30 seconds slower per minute than goal marathon pace. My goal marathon pace is 7:26 minutes per mile, so today’s goal pace was 7:56. As usual, this workout was put together by Dan Ashmead from our running group. Up to this point, most of our bi-weekly marathon workouts have consisted of shorter intervals at either marathon pace or tempo pace (~20 seconds faster than MP). Dan told us that the purpose behind today’s plan was to allow for longer intervals and more miles. The repeats would still be high effort, but the slightly slower pace would provide for faster recovery after the workout. We were instructed to keep the pacing as consistent as possible throughout all of the intervals.
I was nervous because I knew this would be hard, having already done two tough runs this week on Tuesday and Thursday, plus an 18-miler last Saturday. The slightly lower temps continued this morning, however the humidity was back with a vengeance (it even rained for a few minutes).
We started the first interval after an easy 5-minute warmup. Unfortunately, there was no one else running at my pace today, so most of the workout was done by myself. My legs were a little sluggish at the start, but I think this was mostly due to the short warmup. I settled into a pace around 7:58, and quickly started feeling much better. At the 15-minute mark, my pace was exactly 7:56. On the way back to the staging area I subconsciously picked up the pace a little and ended up finishing the first interval with an average pace of 7:53.
We took 5-minutes to hydrate, and then started the next interval. I was feeling really good during this one, and followed a slightly different route. At the halfway point I was just over 7:50 pace, and again subconsciously picked it up on the way back to finish the second interval with a average pace of 7:49. Even though both of these intervals were too fast, I was very pleased with how well I was feeling.
After another 5-minute recovery, I took a completely different route for a change of scenery. While the first two routes were relatively flat, this one was quite hilly. I continued to feel really good, but ended up pushing it way too hard on this interval. My average pace was 7:43, and I was quite winded at the end.
My mistake during the third interval made the final one exceedingly difficult. Both Paxton and Dan said that they wanted to do this one with me, and we hung together through the first 1/2 mile at about 7:49 pace. At that point Paxton began to pull away from Dan and I, and I did not attempt to follow his pace. After almost 2 miles, Dan pulled away from me as my pace began to slow a bit to just over 7:50. My legs were exhausted, and I was struggling. I kept telling myself to not think ahead, stay in the moment, and maintain pace. With 10 minutes to go, Paxton and Dan were well out ahead of me, but my pace remained consistently around 7:50. With five minutes to go, even though my legs were shredded, I again subconsciously picked up the pace and finished the interval with a 7:48 avg (my second fastest).
Overall, it was a really good workout and I learned a couple of valuable things. (1) Early pacing mistakes can seriously affect the amount of gas left in the tank near the end. My poor pacing in the 3rd interval made the 4th one much harder than it should have been. (2) Even though I was really struggling during the 4th interval, I was still able to stay in the moment and maintain pace. This has historically been very difficult for me in marathons, so this is a good confidence boost.
I finished the workout with 16 total miles including the short warmup, with an overall average pace of 7:50 per mile. Even with the mistakes, I’m still happy with the effort at the end of a tough week, on what was a very humid morning.
- Cross Training – Tonight I did P90X: Shoulders and Arms and P90X: Ab-Ripper X. Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed my form getting a little sloppy with the dumbbell exercises, so tonight I cut my weight across the board and really focused on form. Amazing how good it felt.