Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Road to 26.2: Week 9

The halfway point of the training plan!  A step-back week, I was grateful for the shorter long run, though I'm still a bit surprised that I've become a person who calls 13 miles a shorter run.  The weather during week 9 was typically St. Louis: black ice on Friday and capri weather on Saturday.  Hopefully this means I will be prepared for any weather conditions come race day.  In review, my training week looked like this:

Monday (2/2):  4 mile run.
After two consecutive days off from running, my legs felt incredibly fresh.  This run felt easy and was over in a flash.
Tuesday (2/3):  barre workout and strength work.
A quad-burning good time with one of my standard YouTube workouts.  After the barre workout, I added some extra strength, primarily squats, lunges, planks, and glute exercises.
Wednesday (2/4):  7 mile run.
I ran 3.5 easy miles with Emily and then 3.5 tempo miles solo.  All of them felt hard, mentally more so than physically.  My brain just wasn't in the game.  In spite of my brain's sluggishness, I managed negative splits and a speedy finish.
Thursday (2/5):  yoga and strength work.
Another of my standard YouTube workouts, this yoga sequence was just what I needed to stretch and relax.  I followed it with strength work: squats, planks, pushups, glute and core work.
Friday (2/6):  4 mile run.
With patchy black ice on most of the side streets, I opted to run laps along the cleared main road.  The scenery was dull and the wind was fierce, yet somehow I still liked this option better than the treadmill.

Emily is temporarily benched due to injury, so this was my running partner on Saturday.
Long runs feel much longer without a BRF...

Saturday (2/7):  13 mile run.
The weather was gorgeous - warm and sunny - but this did not feel like my best long run effort.  Nothing major went wrong; it simply wasn't my day.  However, I managed to keep relatively even splits through the first half and pulled off a fast finish (despite being stopped by a traffic light with less than half a mile to go!).  All in all, a solid effort when I didn't have my best stuff.
Sunday (2/2):  REST!
Faux spring continued, and we all got out to enjoy it.

Enjoying the sunshine on a neighborhood walk with my crew :)

On Friday, as I considered the fact that I was nearly halfway finished with this training plan, I felt somewhat disheartened.  I've done loads of work and the thought of maintaining this level of training for another 9 weeks felt daunting.  However, after Saturday's long run (aided by post-run endorphins, no doubt), I took a different perspective entirely.  Nine weeks remain on the plan, but that includes a 3-week taper, which means there are just 6 more weeks of hard workouts.  Broken down even further, since my plan includes step-back weeks, there are just 4 more new-to-me distance long runs.  And that sounds completely achievable.  Hard but achievable.  Subdividing the work like this helps me cope with the training load.  In just a few moments of thought, I went from worried about 9 more weeks to feeling confident about 4 more long runs.  The same amount of work remains; my attitude is different.

So bring it on, second half of the plan!  I'm ready for you.