Saturday: 6 miles; Had a little cross country trail adventure with Naomi. It is always fun to run somewhere new. The area was not so large in a we-are-marathon-training mind-set so we had to do a lot of 1 mile loops and out-and-backs. I probably wouldn't go there again for more than 3 or 4 miles, but it was a beautiful place to run.
Sunday: 7 miles, ladder intervals of 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 2:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 with equal recoveries @ 7:21 pace, 6x hill sprints; I did this workout in early January and ran 10 seconds a mile faster now than I did then. Progress.
Monday: 12 miles @ 9:40 pace; My legs were a little tired, but they felt like they could have gone on and on forever at this easy pace.
Tuesday: 4 miles @ 9:48 pace, 8x hill sprints; Bikram Yoga
Wednesday: 9 miles @ 9:04 pace, including 6 mi progression run from MP+20 sec to MP (8:55 to 8:25); My legs are tired. The last few runs my warm-up pace has been about 20 sec/mile slower than it has been averaging the last couple of months. But when I ask my legs for speed, they always respond so I'll chock it up to the training plan working. If I can hit paces on tired legs, that means after taper they should feel zippy, right? Right?! I've got two rest days next week so am looking forward to that. I don't often do progression runs and it was a little more challenging than I thought it would be. I'd start to go too fast, rein it in, and then be going to slow. I'm more used to dialing in an effort than trying to slowly ramp up to a certain level.
Thursday: Bikram Yoga
Friday: 23 miles @ 9:37 pace; I started off feeling pretty bogged down and didn't think this was going to end well at all. If you don't count that marathon I ran a month ago (which strangely, I don't), this is the longest training run on my plan's schedule. It was supposed to be run at an easy pace and I was afraid that was going to slip into slugfest pace territory. As it usually happens with me, my pace picked up as the run went on. I don't know if it was the Gu Roctane I took at mile 18 (I seriously think these things bring you back from the dead) but the last 3 miles I felt fantastic. Great mental boost for sure. Somewhere in the book I read (from which I got my training plan), it said that you should try to have the duration of a long run equal your goal race time. I came pretty close today so mission accomplished.
A quirky fact about me -- I plan my ipod play list so that Louis Armstrong's, "What a Wonderful World" ends every 20 miler I do. I also play it at the very end of the very last run of every training cycle. It captures exactly how I feel at those moments.
I finished my run today to this song and felt so incredibly blessed.
I realized I won't hear the song again until 2 days before my goal race. Much more on that later, but it is finally starting to hit me that race day is almost here. G.A.H!!
Rachel brought up a point: The way I reported my spec test a few weeks ago, it probably wasn't clear: I did participate in a half marathon so I do have an official new PR. I ran an official half in the middle of a 17 mile run (it works out awesome that the start and finish of the race is pretty much exactly 2 miles from where I live so I just ran to and from the race). The pace I reported was from Garfield because I wanted to know how I performed, so my official pace is a little slower with the "extra" distance. However, the time (1:52) is official. Also, Rachel, I linked to the book above that I used for my current plan.