Monday: Gait Analysis (Will do a whole separate post on this later. But the short version is that I ran on some fancy treadmills, had myself videotaped, and a physical therapist made some recommendations. By "recommendations" I mean she ran me through some exercises that effectively crippled me for a week.)
Tuesday: 7 miles with 3x 1600m @ 9:01 pace (pulled these off at 8:52, 9:01, 8:55).
I woke up sore this morning from the exercises the physical therapist had me do the day before. Let me restate that. I fell asleep sore the night before. I think we can all agree it is pretty bad news when your body hurts the night OF an activity. These were really hard, not very enjoyable 1 mile intervals. I am actually amazed I was able to get them done. I had to walk a little after the third because I thought I was going to lose my breakfast. I was feeling a little down on myself during this run because I started thinking there is no way I'll ever run a whole half marathon at a 9:00 pace. I really struggled to continue running for the 1.5 miles of cool down at the end. My legs felt like dead weights. I felt like I was trying to run with my parking brake on. I felt like my body was shutting down. But after the run I felt much better about the whole thing. I realized that my body hurt as much as it hurts after running a marathon. I realized I couldn't walk down stairs. I had a hard time lowering myself into and raising myself out of the seating position. Well, duh! Of course I had a hard run! Good on you legs for doing the intervals when you were dealing with that fatigue! Physical Therapist, I shake my fist at you (shakes fist)!
Wednesday: Was supposed to run 6 miles. After the "recommendations" and the way I felt during yesterday's run? Not happening. Sorry, National Running Day. I'm saving myself for Friday's 20 miler.
Friday: 20 miles @ 10:55 pace. A little too fast, probably (my goal marathon pace as of now is 10:52). Overall I felt much better than I did during last week's 18 miler. It helped mentally that I did a route that required little back-tracking or re-running of the same areas (last week I basically did three loops of Golden Gate Park). The weather forecast Friday morning called for a 40% chance of thunderstorms. I know 40% is less than a coin toss but when I looked outside there was a dark cloud of doom above the park. So I wore a long sleeve shirt thinking I may get rained on a little. It did rain briefly the first few miles (more like a thick mist) but after that the SUN came out. The SUN. In San Francisco. God bless public water fountains. Without them I would probably right now be baked onto the sidewalk of Lake Merced. I carry a 20 oz bottle when I run but had to refill it twice and drank heartily from water fountains, too. Just so you know what a warm weather weenie I am, it was probably only in the mid to high 60's (but sunny!).
So the first of three 20 milers in my SFM training cycle is now complete! The best thing about finishing up this 20 miler was knowing that next week (now "this week" since I took so long to post this) I only had an 8 miler on my long run day. Cut back weeks are awesome. I've been steadily increasing my long run the first 5 weeks so this will be a nice mentally relaxing week.
Foot update: First, I'd like to say I am so amazed at how much tennis ball love there is out there! And all for things other than tennis! Mario pretty much ignores the tennis balls lying around the apartment. My foot is holding up. I can run my 7-8 milers with no pain. It did flare up during the 20 miler and hurt a little too much for comfort Friday night. But by Saturday it was feeling okay. Overall it is definitely doing better than when I started SFM training (back then it would hurt 2-3 miles into a run).