I had an early start this morning and got my 16 miler done. I am doing my long runs on Fridays for now because it is Josh's easy/late morning of the week, Josh is often gone on Saturdays, and on Sundays it is hard to get a very long run done before church. I have found that I actually really like doing my long runs on Friday mornings, having a lounge/recovery day the rest of Friday (which is usually a lazy day/night for us anyway) and then having the weekend ahead of me. :)
Since the course for the Utah Valley Marathon (June 6!) is mostly downhill (check out this elevation map) I am trying to get all my long runs done with lots of downhill running to get my quads ready. I have done other races with similar elevation profiles and have never had any problems, which I attribute to race specific training.
I live in a valley surrounded by mountains, so Josh drove me out to what we call "the south end" and dropped me off at the top of the pass so I could run home. There are three decent uphill climbs in this run (one that is a full mile long), but the large majority is downhill, so it is a great route to get ready for UVM.
We left our house at 5:25am and it was dark and raining. As we drove south, the rain got steadier and heavier. Josh told me that it felt like spouse abuse to drive me out to the middle of nowhere in the dark and kick me out of the car in the pouring rain, many miles from home. :)
To be honest though, the worst part of the run was just getting out of the warm, dry car. Once I got running it wasn't too bad at all (except for maybe when it hailed for awhile) and I always enjoy my runs.
The plan for this run was 2 miles @ 8:30 pace to warm up, then 2 miles at 8:15, 2@8:00, 2@7:45, 2@7:30, 2@7:15, 2@7:00 and then 2@8:30 to cool down.
My actual splits were 8:26, 8;21, 8:15, 8:08, 7:54, 7:55, 7:35, 7:40, 7:29, 7:21, 7:13, 7:11, 6:46, 6:37, 8:42, 8:27. That 6:46 was the all uphill mile. I didn't look at my Garmin, I just ran hard and hoped I made the 7:00 time goal. Then once I hit the top of the hill shortly into the next mile (goal of 7:00 pace) it felt so much easier and so good to run fast that I got carried away and went with it since it was my last "fast mile" of the run and I love to finish fast/strong anyway.
My legs were definitely happy to get to the cool down section of the run. :)
I was completely soaked from head to toe and my feet were squishy in my soaked socks and shoes, but it really was a fun run. I will take cold and wet over heat ANY DAY.
This training plan definitely seems to be to get me used to running fast on tired legs. Gone are the days of easy-paced long runs. :) That's fine by me!! I like the challenging workouts and can see how these runs are going to make me a better marathoner. Yesterday my run was a 10 miler followed by 4x800's on the track, which was another good workout. Tomorrow will be an easy, easy 10 miler with Josh which I am really looking forward to.
I got home and got out of all of my wet/cold gear and into warm, dry clothes. After a good session of stretching and rolling with my stick, I got into an ice bath, even though it was the last thing I wanted to do since I was already wet and cold. But I am a believer that it helps my muscles, so I do it.
Now after a hot shower and some oatmeal, I am wrapped up in my favorite blanket, sporting my compression gear, and laying down with my legs up and resting while Noah climbs all over me. Life is good! It is STILL raining and we have a quiet, lazy family night planned here at home.
This week I am featured on WalkJogRun's podcast, so if you want to hear me babble away about my schedule and running etc. you can find that by clicking here. :) It is about 27 minutes long and the "play" button is down under the second picture.
And, in the best news in a long time, the super amazing, world's greatest friend and virtual cheerleader is coming to see me in August and while she is staying with us, she will be running her first marathon here!!!!! Go give three cheers for Jennifer!!!! (And shout out for the Pocatello Marathon. I love this race. Love it! It was my first half marathon ever and my first BQ race.) Getting to run Jennifer in to the finish line of her first marathon in Pokey is going to make this race a million times more special for me. (And yes, I will be running it too). I am believing that Jennifer is coming all the way from Florida because she loves me, thinks I am cool, and wants to hang out with me, although it could also have something to do with the pancakes Josh has promised to make her. :)
Happy Friday everybody and I hope you have a great weekend.