Week 2 of my training plan is now in the books and went according to schedule, for the most part. Monday my dad decided to skip his usual treadmill run in the air conditioned gym and I decided to move up my usual late evening run so we could run together. This meant heading out the door at 5pm, the hottest time of the day, with the temps in the high 90s. Let's just say I don't think we'll be doing that again any time soon! The first couple miles were decent, but by mile 3 the heat started to get to us and we were dragging. My dad decided to walk the remaining mile, so I went ahead and jogged back to the house on my own. For just 4 miles I was pretty spent!
Tuesday I did 5 miles on my usual route along the river with my dog, and actually ended up with negative splits for each mile! I kept my pace well under 10 minutes and averaged 9:33/mi. Wednesday I did NMTZ once again. Although I'm getting more familiar with the moves, they still kick my butt! I wish I could do it more than just once a week but I don't think I could run and do NMTZ in the same day...yet : )
Thursday I had the same hill workout as last week, 3xhill. I warmed up with a quick mile around the neighborhood, then hit the overpass hill hard. I'm kind of wondering what my intensity should be when running hills... Should I be running them hard, or trying to keep a steady, "normal" pace? What will be most beneficial? After running up and down 6x (my hill is only half the prescribed distance) I cooled down with 2 more miles to finish with an even 4. I'm starting to wonder if NMTZ followed by my hill/speedwork day is a smart idea...or maybe my body just needs more time to adjust?
After resting up Friday I headed out early Saturday morning for my final long run before tapering for the San Francisco Marathon in 2 weeks. I had 18-20 planned, depending on how I felt. Since I only did 15 last weekend, I wasn't sure I wanted to put my body through such a big increase of 5 miles. In my opinion, the difference between doing 18 miles versus 20 is mainly psychological. Before every marathon I've done a 20 miler, and for me, it prepares my psychologically to tackle a marathon. But physically, I just don't think those 2 miles make a huge difference. I also have to keep reminding myself that just a month ago I ran a full marathon, so there's no need to overdo it before the next one. With all that said, I opted to do 18 miles. My dad came along on his bike for the entire run which was great and made for some company which I don't normally have on my runs here in Sac. I tried out a new route, running along the American River parkway all the way to Old Town Sacramento, through downtown and past the capitol, all the way to East Sac and through Sac State. The last few miles were tough - it was hot, and my joints were really screaming at me! Oddly enough, however, my last mile was my fastest! Guess I just really wanted to be done : ) About a mile and a half from home my Garmin beeped 18 and I collapsed onto some grass while my dad headed home to get his car and come pick me up : ) I definitely could have physically run home, but that would've put me at 19 something, and then I would have had to add on more til I got to 20, and mentally that was just too much at that point! My body was pretty sore, especially my hips, and it was hot! About halfway through the run I think I decided to do 18, and once my mind settles on a number it will get me that far, but then it shuts down. Running really is so mental.
One thing I've noticed on my long runs lately is that fueling has been harder than usual. Maybe it's due to the heat, but I find myself parched and then drink too much water, and Gu has been extremely difficult to stomach (usually not a prob for me). I've been drinking Nuun and plain water on my long runs, which seems to work so far, and I've tried supplementing Gu Chomps for one or two regular Gu. I guess I'll just have to hope I figure things out for race day! Does anyone else have issues fueling in the warmer weather?
I was supposed to get in an easy 3 mile recovery run yesterday, but failed : / Saturday night I met up with some girlfriends from high school that I hadn't seen in years, and we ended up staying out way later than I planned catching up and enjoying the local "Second Saturday" festivities downtown. A late night and early morning to watch the World Cup Final made for a very tired Rachel. Plus we had a late dinner, so I settled for resting up and skipping the run. I hope to not make this a habit on Sundays in the future, however, because I think incorporating a recovery run after long runs will be beneficial for me. I think I might try to substitute swimming and/or yoga once in a while on Sundays to switch things up.
With just two weeks til marathon no. 5 and 2/3 of the 3 in 3 months quest, it's time for a mini taper! My weekly runs aren't changing much, but next week I'm back down to "only" 11 miles : ) On another note, I realized a couple days ago while I was looking at my training plan that I had one of my marathons on the wrong weekend! And I didn't give myself any rest days after my marathons! So I had to go in a do a little reworking, but now I think my plan is perfect : )