"Now is the winter of our discontent..."
Winter training is never easy training. The extra weight of clothes and gear, the cold stinging in the lungs, the snow, the fear of slipping- it all plays to make this a difficult time to run.
What's worse, training has it's seasons like any good story- times of fun and times of pain, and it follows it's seasons most religiously.
Now is the blah time. The taper is about a month away, so too far to really look forward to, but it's still there, just beyond the horizon. The first excitement of the beginning is long gone, but the end certainly isn't quite in sight. It's the blah time, and it's easy to lose track and focus.
And so here I sit, tipsy from my weekly shot of Mr Daniel's most excellent Tennessee Whiskey, reflecting on how this week went.
It went well. the hard runs were hard, and that's for sure. Hard enough that I felt I pushed myself to a new level, although whether that's up a half flight of stairs or off a cliff is hard to tell at this distance. I'll let you know if I land with a sudden crunch.
The difficult interval sessions I've already babbled about- no need to reiterate. I did a few longer runs and easier runs, and they're not a big deal, I think. At least, they didn't take all that much out of me, or so I hope. I'm just curious to see what will become of me when I start to run for true. Martian, I'm hoping, will be fun. Longer run type feel, slightly harder effort, until i get to the point where I let my demons off the leash and really get to see what I can do.
I'm hoping that I'll have some gas left around mile 20. I have done 20 milers and finished feeling fresh and relatively pleased. Tired, but otherwise fine.
So here's the thought. Do the first quarter somewhere at about an 8:00 minute pace. After I hit the quarter I'm sure I'll be good and warmed up, and so I'll drop the pace to somewhere between a 7:50-8:00. Just slightly faster, if everything goes well. My hope is to hang out there for about 13 miels of the race, till about mile 20.
And then, as they say, we'll see what we can see. I don't want to try to bust out a mile faster than 7:40 till after mile 23, when I really might not have anything left, especially if things go really wrong. But my pie in the sky goal would be to finish the last three miles averaging under a 7:30 pace and finishing in under 3:25.
Some pretty big dreaming, really. It might happen. But I think my three goals are certainly within my grasp- a PR at 3:32, sub 3:30, and finally 3:25 as the fly goal. I just have to run a smart race... not that I've had all that much luck with that in the past. :)
Anyway, about next week... my two Q runs sound good. A 15 mile marathon pace run (depending on how the weather cooperates) with two miles of warm up and cool down, making a nice 19 mile run again. And then the typical Threshold run: 4 X 12 minutes with 2 minutes of rest in between, with the typical two miles warm up and cool down.
We were promised 3-8 inches of snow tomorrow, so it might make some of those runs... problematic. Ought to be interesting to see how things develop. :)