Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Road to Steamtown: Weeks 17 & 18

Week 17 was my highest mileage week of the cycle:

3 run for 36 miles
No cross training

After a great speed work session on Monday, I suddenly found my right knee hurting when I went down stairs. Of course knee pain is just about every runner's worst nightmare - the stereotypical injury that nobody wants. I figured it was thanks to all of the hard running I had done the week before and decided to take it easy with no cross training.

I was nervous about the 20 (who isn't) both because of my knee, which never got worse but was still a little bit squeaky every now and again, and because the weather forecast wasn't what I would call ideal. The forecast being sunny and high 60's.

Thankfully, the miles somehow flew by. I didn't push things and hung out with some of our 20 mile virgins instead of flying to the very front of the pack with Kit and Lauren, who must have had jet fuel for breakfast because they tore it up. It was really fun for me to stay with Jadee and Brian as they finished their first 20.

Immediately after the run, a group of us hit the Dairy Bar. I devoured a chili cheese omelet, biscuit, hash browns, and bacon. Oh and a cookies and cream milk shake.

That night we gathered again to celebrate at Hardywood Brewery, where we were all miraculously walking normally and had enough energy to stand around and debate bad movies

The Midnight Crew
And then I took the train straight to Taper Town:

3 runs for 24.75 miles
2 miles of swim

Running miles logged so far: 584.15
STLY: 531.0

The pesky knee pain stuck around, but didn't keep me from running my speed work on Monday and enjoying a nice south side run with Kit and Greg in the early morning on Wednesday.

For Saturday's run, I decided that instead of taking it super easy for my last long run before the marathon, I would push myself. This isn't typically what you are supposed to do during taper, but my theory was that I wanted to run fast, feel tired, and make myself keep going despite wanting to slow - things that I am going to have to do next week if I can achieve the goal that I want to.

Luckily, Coach Shawn was apparently also in the mood to run fast and suffer - he, Kit, and I ended up running at an average pace of 8:16 and we definitely had one or two sub-8:00 miles in there. The crazy thing is that Shawn ran 20 this week and was running Kit and I into the ground even though we were only doing 12!

I was perfectly exhausted when we finished - and starving later that day. I guess that's what 12 tempo miles will do to you.

So this week I'm supposed to do speed work on Monday and 5 miles on Wednesday and then nada until Steamtown on Sunday. I think I am going to slightly amend to a Tuesday swim and Wednesday 5 mile tempo followed by an easy 3 on Friday morning instead.

Hard to believe that at this time next week I will have finished my third marathon. The summer and September went by in a surreal blur. Part of me is really glad that I'm getting the marathon done this month, but another part of me feels strange to not be on the same schedule with the rest of the team.

Despite that, I'm feeling confident. At the end of my training last fall, I ran a total of 550 miles. I am already sitting at 580 miles, and expect to top out at 590 total. Though my knee is being a little weird, I'm not too concerned about it. I think this week of "rest" will be all it needs. My SI isn't giving me the trouble it was last year and everything else feels great.

Now all I need to do is make it through the next 7 days without getting sick or hurting myself - too bad I don't have a bubble.

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