Okay, I know I went on and on for the race report from the Superbowl 5K. Believe it or not, I really did use a filter- there was some stuff that I thought about mentioning while I was doing the race that I forgot about till after I posted. But this is supposed to be running babel, and so it's my hope, gentle reader, that you'll be willing to put up with drivel on the off chance some wheat may be gleaned from the chaff.
The week was good, even though I chose to not do my full miles. The schedule called for 80% off my max weekly mileage (56/70) but I chose only do to 50. Not even that, if my memory doesn't desert me- a mere 49.9. Quite a come down from the bragging of the average 71.5 miles per week in January. And the exaggeration, for there are more than the standard four weeks in a 31 day month.
But I digress. Approximately 50 miles this week, but they were, for the most part, good miles. Three hard workouts, including today's race. Two days of approximately 16 miles, which definitely made my legs sing in discomfort. And finally, my choice to really think of the race as double miles, because of the stress involved. So, if that's the case, I did 53 miles, which is closer to 56 than 50 if I do my math right.
And is it just me, or does the Jack Daniel's seem to hit me harder now than it did at the beginning of this training cycle? But there I go again, digressing. Hopefully by now, you're used to it.
Even though immediately after the runs of hard or long or both I tended to feel quite fine- peppy, even- I felt quite old and decrepit afterward. I mentioned in my FB posting that it felt like tiny dwarfs, mining for gold where my leg muscles should be. And spending some quality time with a foam roller, well dosed with Naproxen, seemed to help them move on. But the issue of getting stronger was always in the back of my mind.
The T intervals didn't seem quite so tough as they had previously. I wasn't on the knife's edge of hyperventilation, or pushing for all that I was worth. It was, truth be told, getting much easier to play in the 7:40 pace. I sped it up, hung out with the 7:30s, and tried to think that it was a sign that I was getting faster. That was my hope, at least- that all the work on form and distance and speed and cadence was all pulling together to make me a better, faster, and stronger runner who could do the deed with a greater effect for a smaller effort.
Wishful thinking, but it also happened to be true, if the results from today's run was any indication.
But this puts me into a bit of a hot seat, now. When I put my information into the tables designed by Daniel, things change a bit, and not necessarily for the better. All of the sudden my T intervals of happy memory become as obsolete as my old Rev B iMac, in Boni blue and with the mystery port (My new iMac, after a 10 year hiatus purchasing two iBooks, rocks the house, BTW). Now, all of the sudden, my T intervals are 20 seconds per mile faster.
20 seconds per mile.
20. That's a lot. It's something that I have a problem counting to without pulling off my running shoes during a race, if you get my meaning. Unless I'm wearing five fingers... but I'm digressing again.
Speeding up 20 seconds per mile when your pushing hard on the outset makes a fairly large, fairly hairy difference. 20 second pace difference over 26.2 miles is over eight minutes. Cutting eight minutes in a marathon is a lot- I'm training my ass off right now to try to cut two.
But it's a wonderful thing, too. I mean, it really does point to some rather wonderful improvements. I'm getting better. Faster. Stronger. And I'm going to have a great marathon if everything in the second half of my training schedule goes as well as it did in the first.
It's a pretty big "if". But I'm okay with that.
Next week is a lot of miles, but none of them are all that rough. Q1 is either 2.5 hours or 17.5 miles, whatever's less. I usually chose to ignore it and run slow with friends for three or more hours, which tended to be between 16 and 20 miles, truth be told. But you have to make allowances for running with friends- the whole social aspect of running is kind of key. And given a choice between that and doing the program perfectly, I'll chose the former.
The second Q workout is T intervals... really, I think I'll change my nomenclature to T as in threshold. Or tempo. Since my new and improved T pace is 7:20, I figure it'll be harder than it would have been had I run it last week. But anyway, it's a time type thing: two miles up, 20 minutes T pace, 10 easy, 20 T, and then two miles down. Say about 12 miles all told. 70 miles all together. I wonder when I'll fit in my long run... probably Sunday, everything going well.
But let me say it outright if it hasn't come through loud and clear... Daymn, but it felt good run run hard today. Better than chocolate. Better than bacon. Perhaps even better than chocolate covered bacon.