Boston Qualifying Training. I was happy yesterday when I was able to make my swim during my lunch hour. It was only 1,800 meters, but it was aggressive, no hanging on the side, it was a 200 warm up followed by sets of 200 with a descending time. My chest was pounding on a few of them.
I hit the bed later than I had hoped, 10:00, but unlike last week I did not toss and turn and wake up every hour, I was out and do not think I even moved until the alarm went off. I grabbed my gear and hit the door.
I made the bottle drops, and liked the course that was plotted for the 17 mile run. A good amount of rolling terrain. The hills were mostly at the back half and I thought that would be a build strength necessary for the later stages of a marathon. I hooked up with Jay a 4:45, and we were off.
Unlike last week, the focus was on hitting our goal pace. Again, speed was not an issue, rather we had been going too fast. Today was a prescribed, 8:45 per mile. Really? I know, slow, but I continue to think perhaps the idea is to push the endurance, time on the course, and slowly build up the speed through the tempo and track workouts. Perhaps the idea is doing it this way reduces the stress that running fast places on the body. Basically, trust the system, it has worked for thousands of others, it will likely work for me.
So off we went. Unlike last week, the weather was a bit humid and certainly warmer. The first several miles were so familiar, that they went by quickly as Jay and I caught up on family and work stuff. We hit our first bottle drop and our time was reasonable, through still a bit too fast, 8:35, not 8:45, but far better than last week. The pace was adjusted and we continued on.
My left leg continues to do most of the running, so I really focused on a even cadence and stride. It was better today, though sitting here 5 hours later, it is my left leg that is still sore. I also felt a lot more of my broken right ankle today, stiff and sore, but manageable. We hit our next bottle drop and our time was about the same, though it was mostly down hill at that section. That would soon change, at mile 10 the hills were in front of us, about 2-3+ miles worth. Long slow climbs.
I was beginning to feel a little fatigue, and even a little hungry. I began to question, "hey, am I going to be able to do the 26 miles if I feel this way now?" I kept those thoughts to myself, put my head down and kept running. Runners run. Besides, if it was easy, anyone could do it, that is the purpose, a challenge. Can I train my body and mind to achieve a goal. Can I push myself to take a little more pain. A lot of questions, luckily I had several more mile to contemplate those thoughts. Jay and I ran silently for a couple of miles. Not much was said, except to point out a broken sidewalk, pothole or note that I'd just run through another spider web so Jay would not think I was crazy as I started waving my arms all around trying to remove a web.
As we reached the top of the hills, the last leg of the run was upon us, we were almost done. Conversation resumed and we fought the urge to go faster, after all that is not the point of this workout at this time. It was good to know at mile 15 and 16 there was energy to pick it up, again, we fought the urge. Somehow the sun had come up in the last couple of miles, without us noticing, fortunately, it was hiding behind some clouds and the temperature did not change much at all.
We pulled in where we had left 17 miles earlier and the per mile pace was 8:40, not bad. The goal was 8:45. Knowing we started too fast, I would rather start next time slower and progress to negative splits, and that is something to work on. Overall time was 2:27:23.
We saw Corey entering the gym as Jay and I chatted briefly in the parking lot. Assurance were made to be at Masters swim practice tomorrow morning, number 6 in a row for me, 7 for Jay.
My weight for the day was 178, I was very pleased it had not skyrocketed over the weekend. I stopped on the way home and had a great French toast breakfast with a side of bacon, man was it good. Too many meetings to count this morning, off to lift for lunch!
Glad Jay remembered the lighter for the smokes