Sunday, October 12, 2008

Marathon Training Update - Week 6

Woohoo! I made it through back-to-back high mileage weeks without a single injury. ITB problems, have you missed your flight? Achilles tendonitis, thanks for picking up your belongings and leaving the trays in the upright and locked positions. This Laminator plane has just taken off and is scheduled for a comfortable and relaxing three week taper before landing safely on marathon Sunday on November 2nd. Thank you very much for staying with us and yes I will enjoy the rest of my flight.

Week #6 (10/6-10/12)

What I Planned:
Recovery Run: 7 miles at recovery pace
Interval Run: 8 total miles with 4 interval miles at 5:59 min/mi pace
Marathon Pace Run: 12 miles at 7:03 min/mi pace
Easy/Recovery Run: 8 miles at easy pace
Staten Island Half Marathon Race: 13.1 miles at race pace
Total week 6 distance: 48 miles

What I Ran:
Recovery Run: 7.2 miles at 8:12 min/mi pace
Interval Run: Skipped due to severe side stitches after 1st interval
(Became a general aerobic run of 7.28 miles at 7:22 min/mi pace)
Marathon Pace Run: 12.3 miles at 7:00 min/mi pace
Easy/Recovery Run: 8.2 miles at 7:30 min/mi pace
Staten Island Half Marathon Race: 13.1 miles at 6:32 min/mi pace
Total week 6 distance: 48.1 miles; avg pace – 7:12 min/mi

How I Ran:
The week started off with a recovery run at an easy pace. I took the opportunity to run this one with the Flyers running group. Unfortunately, even my recovery pace was apparently too fast for those who turned up to run that day. As a result, after about halfway, I had to ditch the group and run by my lonesome, which made me look somewhat speed-snobbish which I really wasn’t trying to be.
I was looking forward to the interval run the next day for a few reasons. First, I had never attempted to run sub 6-minute intervals before so I felt it was a good speed test for me. Second, I had never done 4 (count’em 4) one-mile intervals in a single session. The most I’ve ever done is 3, but because I felt as if my stamina has improved quite a bit since the start of marathon training, I wanted to see if I could handle one extra interval. Third and finally, this was to be my last interval run before the marathon, which meant that if my fast-twitch muscles didn’t show up for work, they would have to pack it in until after the big day. The first interval started off well, as I ran a strong 5:51 for the first mile. And then somewhere in the middle of the second one, I developed a severe side stitch on my left side that forced me to stop and regroup. I walked to the end of the track to give my muscles a chance to relax, but when I tried to run fast again, the stitch came back, stronger than ever. I repeated this cycle a few more times until I convinced myself that this twitch just wasn’t going to allow a speed session workout. So as much as it pained me psychologically to do so, I aborted the speedwork and just covered the planned distance at a steady pace. Looking back, I think the main culprit for my stitches had to be the big late lunch I had that day. It was too big of a meal at too late of a day to fuel my run. Lesson learned.
In contrast, the midweek long run at marathon pace turned out surprisingly well as I completed two loops of the park at 7:00 min/mi pace. I was even able to hammer out the second loop somewhat faster than the first. I attribute some of this success to my frustration at not completing my intervals the day before. In the end, I think this run will probably prove more useful to me in gearing up for the marathon because it provided my body with some familiarity of running long distances at marathon pace.
After another recovery run, which was rather uneventful, we arrived at today, Sunday, Oct 14th. While a significant portion of the running community is probably drawn to the grand spectacle that is the Chicago Marathon, yours truly ran a half-marathon in the borough of Staten Island. Although I had planned for this race to just be a last test run prior to the marathon, it became anything but as I somehow ended up running my best time ever in a not-so-flat course on a warmer-than-expected day on my way to a PR by 1:44! I’ll post a full race report tomorrow when I can devote to it the time it deserves but suffice it to say that I think I must have borrowed some elite runners’ legs out there today.
Hope everyone had a great racing and training weekend!


Jamie said...

Another great week of running. Awesome job! And congrats on the 1/2 mary PR!!!

M*J*C said...

WOW!!! 1:44, that's awesome!!! I had a great time at the race, if I go next year we'll have to meet up! Hope you have a great week!

Julianne said...

Yay for no injuries! And of course, the PR on your HM this weekend must feel great. :-)

Andrew is getting fit said...

That sounds like a great week and a PR to boot!

J said...

wow 48 miles for the week! That is awesome!

That's good you didn't have any more pain! keep running!

The Happy Runner said...

Way to go! Congrats on the PR and, even better, congrats on another high mileage week with no injuries.

I hope you land very safely :-)

runner26 said...

Awesome, Lam!! Your Staten Island performance is commendable (people think you ran a 1:44, btw, which is still awesome, but your time blows that out of the water!!) So glad to hear the injuries have left the building ;) Enjoy the taper phase!!

nyflygirl said...

yay!! can't wait to read the report!! (how the heck did people come up with 1:44?)

let the taper begin!! :)

Laura said...

Wow, CONGRATS on the awesome PR! I got a PW, so looks like we were opposites :) I tried to look for you at my mile 4/your mile 9 (yes, that's how slow I was), but didn't spot you. Great job!!!

audgepodge said...

Congrats on staying injury-free! Have any tips? :)

And great job on the PR on your half!

Irish Cream said...

Ha, I think the injuries did miss their flight--and are now crashing at my place, uninvited in-law style!!

Anyway, huge congrats on the PR!! I keep wondering if you're ever going to reach a point where you are so fast it is simply not possible to PR anymore--but I'm certainly glad to see you aren't at that point--it's so fun to live vicariously through you and your impressive PRs!

Can't wait to see how NYC goes :)

*aron* said...

awesome job on another GREAT week!!! cant wait for the race report for the half!

Xenia said...

Congrats on the PR!!

bill carter said...

Hi Lam

It is really all starting to come together for you. Don't worry too much about the intervals. I honestly think (IMHO) that what you did on the 12 miler and the half marathon show that you are so ready. BTW, are you planning to do Boston '09? It would be really cool to meet you out there as I have already signed up and even the wife and son are going next year.

Best of luck and take care.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read your race report. Well done on the PR.

I don't think you were speed snobbish and I am sure people didn't take it that way.

The Laminator said...

Hey...thanks for all the congrats and warm wishes.

Answering some fan mail:

Runner26/nyflygirl - Hey, some Flyer peeps actually ran a 1:44, so it's a not a bad time. I just decided to run about 19 minutes faster =P

Laura - yeah, was looking out for you. Too bad we missed each other. You did well to run the half the day after your full.

Audgepodge - Tips on injuries? Well, I think the key is lots of stretching, lots of resting, and just really paying attention to your body and not forcing the issue. The body actually does a remarkable job of healing itself, if you let it.

Irish - You actually bring up an interesting point that I've been wondering myself. How will I know when I reach that point? Hmmm...will have to write a post about that when I have time.

Bill - Yes, I'll be in Boston '09. At least I'm planning to be, unless something unforeseen happens.

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