San Antonio marathon in four days and as always it’s a crap shoot. I’ve never been more fit than I have this fall, but there’s also the weather — expected to be in the mid 60s at the start, humidity, chance of showers … bring it on madre. Of course the last time I ran in similar conditions a couple months ago, I gasped my way to a painful 17:15 5K, so we’ll see how it goes.
I’ve had a great fall of training with some great training partners … progressive 22-miler with Mario with the last 2 in 5:45, 7 x 1 mile in mid 5:20s, 20 miler with Pete over Mt. Bonnell with a fast finish, 7 mile tempo in 42:00, 19 miler with Woo with last eight at 6ish, 20×400 feeling fresh, lots of runs with Farrug and Farshid … the workouts have been great, the pressure’s been low, the fitness is there. I think I’ve averaged in the high 60s, topped out around 75 per week, but I haven’t been keeping a log since Boston, just trying train more by feel, less by worry. Trying to get more sleep. Started taking a rest day. Seems to have made a big difference, and if the workouts are any indication the new attitude and regimen has been working great … until the last couple weeks.
Had some bad 1000s 10 days ago, then struggled mightily on what was supposed to be a confidence building 10 mile pace run last Saturday. Maybe due to the drop in mileage I don’t know. Originally I was training so well I thought I would forego any taper and just keep doing what was working, but after feeling so miserable, the last couple weeks have been in the 50s and this week will be 20ish; starting to feel better now, hopefully legs will be ready to pop come Sunday.
A lot of my training over the summer and fall has come from this book: The Self-Coached Runner by Allan Lawrence.
It’s from the early 80s and it’s definitely old school training. I think the 10th week had something like:
Saturday: 18 miles
Sunday: 17 miles
Monday: 5×1 mile
I certainly didn’t do that, or even most of his plan, but it gave me ideas, I cherry-picked what I thought I needed, and it kept me on track. Actually, the best part about it I thought was the “pre-training” base phase where he has runners doing speed work, tempos and long runs, but keeping the intensity relatively light.
He has training plans for a 2:20 marathon all the way up to 4:00 (and for half-marathon and 10K timess), accompanied by a case study with “ordinary” runners. So you’ll see stuff like, “Vanessa, a 32 year old homemaker who took up running 3 years ago, ran 2:44 at the Houston Marathon”. He also has a second volume focused on the shorter distances which I plan to use for the Sprint Series in the Spring.
Beyond running, I helped coach Joshua’s flag football team, I’m taking a statistics class, showing up for the usual Cub Scouts mumbo jumbo, fighting fleas with the new dog…
The race is the thing for now though, but if it doesn’t work out come race day, that’ll be ok, because I much more enjoy the process than the result. The result comes and goes but the training sticks with you, is shared with others, and, dare I say it, is fun.