Three weeks left until race day and I survived my toughest week of training, maybe my toughest week of all time. Out of six runs, three were demanding workouts with three “normal” runs in between.
Monday: a seven miler with strides at the finish. My legs still felt the previous weekend’s long run so I started slowly, trying to stay loose and focus on my form.
Tuesday: a double workout. Over 11.5 miles I ran a two mile stretch at 10K (6:45) pace and then did eight one-minute repeats. I often do my speed work along the LA River, not the most scenic course but fast. The final two repeats were a struggle and I thought my cool down would never end. I was slightly dazed for the rest of the day
Wednesday: an easy six mile run followed by a trip to the dentist.
Thursday: another workout; a ten mile run with the last five at goal race pace. I’m aiming for 7:45 but ran 7:30s instead. I can’t seem to get the feel for my pace and I don’t want to start too fast at M2B. I warmed up along the Greenbelt and finished on the Strand to simulate the bike path that makes up most of the race course.
Friday: rest day!
Saturday: long run. At 21.25 miles my longest training run and my longest run ever. I’d been anticipating this workout for weeks, at times dreading it. But as my training progressed, I began looking forward to the challenge. I started in Hermosa Beach and ran to the Palos Verdes peninsula. In the picture you can see Hermosa in the distance from the PV bluffs. I did not worry about the pace and focused on my running form and strength over the entire distance. When I checked my data I was happy to discover that I consistently held 8:00 during the later miles, and this run became a big confidence builder.
Sunday: eight mile recovery run. As I finished I recalled how eight miles used to be a long run for me, and not too long ago.
Next week is another big effort. The same workouts but slightly fewer miles. Then a two week taper before my race. I know that I can’t prepare for everything but I’ve been able to stick to my marathon plan and I feel confident my training will help me break 3:30:00.