run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Week 19

“Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good.”

- Vince Lombardi

People keep asking me if I'm ready for the race. And I guess, when you're a month out from your goal race, it seems like it would be that natural time when you start to feel ready. But, I'm actually looking to improve even more in these last few weeks. Is that crazy? Probably. When I started training 19 weeks ago, my goal was to finish at X time. And for the past few weeks now, I've been mentally subtracting a minute or so from that goal time. For me, this isn't a matter of being cocky. It's a matter of being less cautious and more optimistic.

Here's an interesting question... In a training cycle... when is your body most susceptible to improvement? Is it in the beginning when you are base building? Is it in the middle when you are starting to work on speed AND building? Or is it in the final stage when your body is working with speed and mileage but, is naturally fatigued from weeks of training? Is there a general answer or does it depend on the runner? What do you think?

For me, I'm hoping that I've still got room to improve. I'm not looking to coast through these last few weeks. I'm looking to work hard and put the effort in. I don't necessarily want to hit a specific time goal in Birmingham anymore... instead, I want to run the best time that I possibly can right now.

On Thursday, I hopped on a plane with The KoB and headed to NYC for a few days. Under any other circumstances, I would have been nervous about getting my miles in, but in the words of my coach:
"When are you in NYC? Since you'll be there with KoB, I'm assuming that getting in the miles won't be a prob."

The week's workouts:
Fast: Ladder workout 200, 400, 800, 1200, 1200, 800, 400, 200
Long: 15 miles at a specific pace. 
Total: 60ish.

One of my favorite things about training is having a speed workout that ends up being 9+ miles. There is something so satisfying about putting in the effort of a track workout and ending the workout with a lot of miles. It's like the best of both worlds. I'm not loving speedwork these days. BUT, I appreciate that it's what I need and I am banking on it paying dividends at the marathon.

The ladder workout was absolutely miserable. It was about 33 degrees outside and raining steadily. My shoes were soaked, my clothes were soaked, it was dark, and I was just NOT feeling it. But, I stuck with it and ended up with fairly decent times. Did I mention that I'm not loving speedwork these days? Blah.

My long run kinda happened accidentally. I had planned to run it on Sunday when I got home from NYC. But, I ended up doing it on Saturday in Central Park instead. I'll save that story for it's own blog post. 

I ended the week with about 63 miles. I'm itching to move my mileage up a bit. I feel like I've been in this 60 mile zone for a LONG time and I'm looking forward to cracking into the 70s in these final weeks. 



chacha said...

Damn, your training makes me feel like a total slacker. Routine 60+ mileage weeks? I think I once ran 51 miles in a week. Once.

I like your goal of "run the best race you can". Every time I have put a specific time goal into a race, I have failed (with the exception of the 10K I ran in July). When I go with "run the best race I can", that's usually when I PR.

Carina said...

Oooh, I know, I know! Pick me! Your body is most susceptible to improvement outside your training cycle. For distance runners, the biggest improvement in VO2 max occurs when they are not in distance training or even at the very very beginning of training. Sad but true.

Assuming you mean during an actual training season (which is minimal compared to improvements outside training), at least for me, I do think it's the last month or so, but I'd guess that varies by runner.