Ok- so I learned a good lesson this week, and possibly avoided a critical training error. I have been so afraid for so many years to push my paces and training, and then this time around things have been going so well that I made a few bad decisions this week. I call it the 'superman dilemma'. Everything was coasting along so well- I was adding on a few miles each week, hitting all my paces easily and feeling great. Then, this week I added in swimming on Tuesday (why not? I apparently am awesome), and a 75 minute Hot Yoga class (why not? I apparently am invincible). WRONG.
I hit the wall at mile 14 of our 17-mile LR on Friday in a way that I have not done in YEARS. Repeat. YEARS. Not even in my craptastic marathons: (NYC, 2006 and Boston, 2009) did this happen-- those were knee-related issues. J and I were cruising along at a 9:20 or so pace for the first 14 miles, then I just could not keep the pace. The last 3 miles were between 9:45 and 10:30 pace or so. Felt like crap in so many ways. I let J go on ahead and she finished the last 3 miles almost 2 minutes before me. UGH.
Immediately I needed to place the blame on something specific I did that week; and the hot yoga was my first choice. Having not been in months, and the combination of sweat, stretching beyond the normal and not re-hydrating was the culprit (crossing fingers). I asked on RWOL and was given many good reasons why that happened. STUPID.
I also had to give myself a little come-to-pacing speech. What are MY goals for this race? I can't let myself get caught up in J's BQ attempt. It is not easy to swallow one's pride to realize that while I have been running for over 20 years, that she is able to train at faster paces, and most likely would smoke me in head-to-head competition. Helping her reach her goals has been great for me on a personal level, and our friendship has grown over the past year or so that we've been running together. It has all in all been a great experience.
That being said, what are MY goals for this training cycle and race? Training has been going great (last week's LR aside), so I think I started to get ahead of myself and was thinking 3:45 (8:35 pace). After last week, I am going to go for a more conservative 3:50 goal. 8:45 pace, and that is a big 10 seconds for me. While I realize this is a full minute slower than my 1/2 marathon time from last spring, I also am only peaking at 50 mpw, and average will probably be closer to 42-45 mpw. I do NOT want to feel like crap at the end of the race, and am so happy to be running strong again. Gotta keep building on that.
The recovery run on Saturday actually made my legs feel much better. Here is the week:
M: 10M @ 9:24 on TM (rained all day)
T: 4M @ 10:09, swam 2850 yards
w: 11M w/5 tempo (7:52) other miles easy
T: Hot yoga-- bad choice
F: 17M @ 9:25
S: 5M @ 10:21 (with Danny on the trail and really recovering from Friday)
47 miles for the week- most of them good.