There were a lot of great things about this week, but I think the best thing about it is that it's over. Not because it was bad, but because my training was rearranged into two back-to-back high volume weeks, and I'm wiped. Now it's time to cut everything back and let my body get strong; while it's doing that, I'm going to go take a nap.
I rode the success of last week's long run pretty far into the week. Monday I managed to get out on my bike for an easy-paced 40 miles - the longest ride of my training cycle so far. I didn't bring enough nutrition and it rained on me for 30 minutes, but it was a great ride. However, I didn't eat enough during the ride or after, which dumped me into a calorie deficit that I was still trying to get out of when track rolled around Tuesday evening. My legs felt great but my stomach was in full sloshing revolt and 800s were on the schedule. I worked my way steadily through, doing 8x800 and hitting them all in a 5-second window that averaged 3:41, but when I was done, I was DONE. I still didn't manage to eat enough Tuesday night and after floating and paddling through a pool run Wednesday morning, I declared Wednesday a day of rest, food and wine. I felt a million times better by Thursday evening and smashed my 4M tempo run, missing my goal time by 1 second but being incredibly thrilled about getting the longer tempo distance. My plan for the next 4 weeks is to very carefully use the tempo run as a race pace run, and train my brain to be ready to run this for miles 9-13.1 of the National Half.
And I had another huge confidence booster of a long run on Saturday, 14 miles that I ended up doing completely alone. I was pretty frustrated and upset for quite a few reasons in the first three miles - all of which were far slower than my long run pace window - but I managed to mentally slap myself and turn things around, finishing out the 14 with another 4 race pace miles that weren't quite as fast as the tempo on Thursday evening, but an incredibly satisfying 8:54, 8:20, 7:44, 7:40. I'm really struggling mentally with the long slow runs right now. I'm having trouble trusting the fact that by running these runs 1-1:30MM slower than my goal pace, I'll be ready for race day. I understand the logic and the math and I've watched other runners work through this, but I haven't yet seen the effects of it on my own body, and I'm scared. My main goal is, as always, to show up at the start line healthy and whole. That said, I'm trying to rough out some time goals for the race without setting myself up for a huge disappointment on a day that I should be letting off fireworks and balloons. All I can do right now is trust in the training and have faith in the fact that the formula works. Faith, not fear.
Monday: 70 minutes lifting (L), 2:33, 40.25M cycling
Tuesday: 45 minutes lifting (A), 1:09/7.8M track workout, including 8x800
Wednesday: 60 minutes/6M pool "run" but actually a rest day
Thursday: 45 minutes lifting (A), 54 minutes/6.1M tempo run
Friday: 60 minutes lifting (L), 31 minutes/1600yd easy swim
Saturday: 2:10/14.1M long run
Sunday: 42 minutes/4.1M recovery run, 75 minutes yoga
How was your week of training? Are you getting close to your A spring races? Can you help calm my ruffled little brow about the long slow training runs?