This Week's Stats
- 70 Miles
- 14M with 2M in 608/612 (63), 2M in 557/600 (3:00), 4M in 606/605/605/610
- 19.1M long run at 6:48 average with 4 x (20 min easy / 10 min at sub-620)
- 10M MLR
- 0 days off
- 2 rock climbing sessions
- 2 lift days
For the first time in 6 weeks, I am finally feeling optimistic for toeing the line at Chicago! Hitting 70 miles this week is a big deal, considering that I took 14 days off in July! The best part about it all is that I don't even feel like I lost that much fitness -- if any.
I completed my first true marathon workout on Wednesday. I love how Coach T-Bone gives all sorts of options for workouts, especially when I'm not sure of my fitness yet. For this one, I had the option of either doing 4 x 2 mile repeats OR by turning it into 2 x 4 mile repeats. In an effort to maximize the company on my run, I decided on a hybrid approach - 2 x 2 miles, + 4 miles at marathon pace. The main focus for this training cycle is to make 615 pace feel as comfortable as possible and this was the first workout to test that comfort level. Despite being completely solo on the final 4 miles, I felt really comfortable hitting paces just below 6:10, which is ahead of my goal for Chicago.
Unlike last year at Chicago Marathon, where my goal was to PR, the goal for this year's marathon is to qualify for the Trials -- to run sub-2:45, roughly 6:15 pace. Although all my other marathon times have been 2:41 (Twin Cities 2010), 2:44 (2012 Trials), 2:40 (CIM 2013), and 2:38 (Chicago 2016), I know that in order to achieve this goal, I must respect the distance of this race. The marathon is never easy. Even if my goal pace is slightly slower than what I'm capable of, I'm constantly reminding myself of the difficulty of still achieving that goal and time.
In an effort to still achieve a balance between fun and marathon training, I accepted a last minute invitation to go to Lake Tahoe over the weekned with some Strava Track Club girls - Victoria, Natalie and Alli. What this meant was that I needed to knock out my long run on Friday morning. Fortunately for me, the stars aligned to make this happen. First, Tania was also going to Tahoe, so she wanted to run long Friday as well. Additionally, my heel wasn't hurting and felt recovered enough to have a quick turnaround from the workout to the long run.
The long run on Friday was a huge success. Dena wrote out a cool workout for Tania that I really liked - run every 30 minutes as follows for 2 hours: easy 20 minutes and sub-620 for 10 minutes. The faster portions made the easy sections feel like a total breeze. Even though it was pretty humid for California, Tania, JOB and I traversed the trails around Baylands, eating some bugs along the way.
Overall, I'm really pumped about this week. I really feel confident going into Chicago. This was the first week where I realized that I am capable of achieving my goals at the marathon in just 8 weeks.