I still haven’t busted the fifty mile week yet, but I have been close (forty-seven). However, I ran 171 miles in the month of August, a new personal best! I think September might shape up to be a monster mileage month as well. I ran twenty-six miles this weekend** and have a couple more twenty milers scheduled. We’ll see how it goes.
I am enjoying a higher mileage training plan. With my high-mileage plan, I can run with my friends and not worry about pace. I can run one day at twelve-minute-miles with the girls and another at a tempo pace under race pace. It really works for me and gives me a higher level of flexibility. I know my way involves a good bit of “junk” miles, but these “junk” miles are good for my mental state as much as anything and I don’t want to give them up. As Long Beach Marathon approaches, I am adding more quality miles to my weekly total.
In the interest of getting some of those quality miles, I did my first track workout in a very long time. Since Marci and I both hadn’t done speedwork yet this training cycle, we started “easy.” But there is nothing easy about 800m intervals on the track. We were aiming for something around 3:45 for 800m using Yasso as the guideline. I also had my friend Nadine’s FIRST pace for these intervals,*** which is 3:33. We did four 800m repeats at 3:24, 3:28, 3:38 and 3:26. Not bad! We walked/jogged our recovery for 400m, but I think I want to reduce that to 200m this week. I think it was just a bit too long (although, at the time, I didn’t think so). Our goal is to work up to eight or ten repeats in the next several weeks.
On Saturday, I ran 20 miles at Newport’s Back Bay.*** It was a gorgeous morning and the weather was perfect. The Back Bay is a great place to run. I ran with my friends and we took it pretty easy. In fact, our pace was so relaxed that at one point I was worried that running close to two minutes faster during the marathon would be impossible. I decided to run my last two miles at race pace or faster. It was good timing, since Joan was ready to switch to run/walk. Kelly and I took off and I gradually kicked it into another gear. I felt great. By mile 19, I was feeling in a zone. I really turned it on, because I still had a lot left. I ran my last mile in 7:58 and it was a HUGE confidence booster. I was thrilled that I could finish a twenty mile run with 10k speed.
I did stop right around nineteen miles, however, for a minute or two. There were some people gathered looking at something. There was some sort of animal on the trail about twenty feet from the bike path. I was expecting a coyote, but was surprised to see at bobcat! Apparently, she is a known resident of the bay and is named Babe. I thought she was pretty cool!
I knock on wood that my running continues like this. I feel good. I feel strong. I’m having fun. What more can I ask for? I hope the next 1000 miles are just as enjoyable.
*I hit 1000 miles on September 5
**20 miles on Saturday and 6.2 miles this morning.
***My friend, Nadine, did the FIRST program earlier this year when she qualified for Boston, which has three high quality runs per week. It doesn’t allow for deviation in the plan, though.
****This is the stomping grounds for fellow blogger, Glenn.