Tuesday, September 15, 2015

PDX Marathon: Week 15 (4 weeks out)

This was not a great week for me. I struggled on both quality runs. However, both of those runs were supposed to be tough and it was hot this week and...basically I'm as ready as I'm going to be and from here out it's time to start healing, recovering, and mentally preparing for the marathon three weeks from now. The work is done. I could've managed some things better for sure, like a couple more hard long runs and had more sleep, but overall I was consistent these past 15 weeks, and my workouts gradually progressed in intensity and duration, so I'm not complaining. I have a couple more quality sessions with speed mixed in over the last few weeks, but for the most part the hay is in the barn and it's time see what I've got come race day, provided I stay healthy. Excited isn't the right word, but I am looking forward to race morning. 

Monday, Sept 7:
Easy run (58min, 7.2mi) - Went from home up Vermont and down Terwilliger as if I was running to work. Crisp and moist out this morning. Felt like a typical Oregon fall morning. I like these types of days and this was a nice way to enjoy it. (Zante)

Tuesday, Sept 8:
Tempo run (85min, 11.4mi, 7mi tempo sub-MP/MP) - This was easily one of my most miserable runs of this training block. Everything was working against me. I wasn't motivated. My legs had leftover fatigue from Saturday. It was sneaky hot and humid out, and I had some residual lunch left to digest, which lead to ever-present GI issues. I intended to run 8-9 miles at sub-MP (6:30-6:40). Things started out great as I held back and did not run the first mile split too fast or too hard. However, things just gradually got worse form there. I hit the first four miles at my desired pace, but the effort to get there was more than I would've liked. I stopped after 4 miles tempo to take a drink, do a quick stretch, and rest my gut. I got right back into it and hit mile 5 in 6:53 or something, which was fine after a pit stop and it's still within my MP range. But, I knew it wasn't my day and to continue to push it like this with so many thing working against me would be stubborn, short-sighted, and silly. I did manage two more miles at 6:40 and 6:43 respectively, but it was a struggle. I still had a 2.5 mile cool down to get back to the office, and it was a slog. I was completely shattered. I've only had a handful of runs like this, but I suppose it makes you tougher in the end. Not a fan though, and this run had me questioning why I'm doing this. Ass kicker. (1500s)

Wednesday, Sept 9:
Easy run (47min, 5.8mi) - Lunch run. Still feeling run down. 

Thursday, Sept 10:
AM ride (20min) - Decided to ride to work today and take the long way home as an "off-day" workout based on my last two runs. Perhaps a break from the routine will give me some pep back both mentally and physically. Honestly, at this point I think it's mostly mental. Would rahter be on the trails I think. 

PM ride (48min) - Went old-school and took it up Westwood to Fairmount in roughly 23 minutes, which is right around my best time from Duniway Track. I was hurting for sure by the time I reached the top, but very glad I decided to opt for the cycle hill blast today versus any type of run, and especially any sort of hard effort. Still struggling a bit to be honest though. Felt tired cruising around Fairmount. Could have something to do with the heat.

Friday, Sept 11:
Easy run (60min, 7.8mi) - Lunch run up Tewilliger to Barbur for 30 minutes and then turned around and came back down. Took it real easy due to the heat yet again. Felt better today, but still sluggish. (1500s)

Saturday, Sept 12:
Long hard run (115min, 16mi,) 1mi easy, 10mi @ ~MP + 3mi @ sub-MP, 2mi easy - I totally improvised this run, mostly. In my ideal world this was going to be 16 miles at roughly MP, but I knew going in that was a bit too much likely. So, I basically just took off around the river from work with the goal off seeing how far I could go. I went 6:54, 6:57, 6:47, 6:43, and 6:43 before I took a quick pit stop to stretch and drink (legs needed it), and then jumped right back in and hit 7:04, 6:55, 6:48, 6:44, and 6:48. This was a turnaround point, so I took a quick stretch and drink again before I got back at it. I had zero intention of going sub-MP at this point but I noticed I was moving along pretty quick and rather than go another 5-6 miles at MP, I decided to just push it a bit and ride it for 3 miles. I hit 6:40 and 6:40, and was really struggling at this point, but I also reconnected with the riverfront path at this point and I happened to merge in behind an older Japanese gentleman who was ripping along. I used him to help get me through that last mile. My only goal was to stay on his ass and not lose ground, which I did. I think at some point he knew I was there, so part of me thinks he was using me as motivation too. We were were clipping along at roughly 6:30 pace for most of that last mile before we hit a gradual uphill for the last little bit, which dropped us to 6:34 overall. As soon as we got back to a main entrance, and my watch ticked that last mile, he pulled off and I eased back for my cool down. It was a cool experience, and it got me a bit excited for this upcoming marathon for the first time in months. I'm not down on it or anything, just not super pumped or immersed in a social running group culture like I have been the past four years, and it was good to be pushed, and tested, and kind of battling quite frankly. I like to compete. My cool down was not fun. It was only 9:30am when I finished and it was already getting hot and humid...for Portland. (Zante)

Weekly Totals:
- 433 total minutes
- 365 minutes run (5), 48 miles
- 68 minutes bike 

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