Saturday, December 31, 2016

Marathon Training Week 10 - In Which I Run Too Far

After two 40 mile weeks in a row, the longest I've ever run in a single week, I decided to take it easy this week and just do 10 miles on Sunday, a tempo run and a couple easy runs.

Sunday - 16 miles @ 13:17

Creek crossing at River Park. There's a bridge up further.

So my well-laid plan of 10 miles turned into 16. But I have an excuse. I do...

Since I was only going to do 10 miles, I decided to run from River Park in Brentwood. There is a nice paved path that connects River Park, Crockett Park and Smith Park. There's not quite enough mileage running from River Park to Smith Park and back again to get 10 miles. I could have picked up some miles in Crockett Park and/or Smith Park, but Smith Park is trail and I didn't want to do Crockett Park. So my husband suggested I run along Splitlog Rd to get the rest of the miles so I could do a straight out and back.

After giving Tanna (my horse that is on stall rest recovering from a knee wound) his breakfast and meds, I headed out to run.

I set my watch to remind me to turn around 5.25 miles in. That would give me enough mileage to do a warm up and cool down and arrive back at my truck at the right mileage.

It was about 66° when I started. I got to wear my favorite lululemon running shorts and my favorite inknburn rose print t-shirt. No gloves, no hat, no jacket. Awesome! But I was tired and grumpy and the first 3 miles were a real struggle. I was so glad I was only going 10 miles.

Intersection of Wilson Pike, Splitlog Rd and the entrance to Smith Park.

At mile 4, I turned left onto Splitlog Road. I'd never run this before. A little over a mile down the road, my watch beeped for me to turn around. I was at the bottom of a small hill and I wanted to see what was over it, so I went up it and around until I could see down the other side. It looked like the trail ended at the 4 way stop, so I decided to run down to see.

A pretty view along Splitlog Rd.

Splitlog Road actually turned to the right at the stop, so the trail turned with it. At this point, I was 1.5 miles in and I thought the trail was only 2 miles long, so I decided to go ahead and run to the end just so I could see the whole thing. I ran another mile before coming to the abrupt end of the trail.

End of the line.

I turned and ran back to Wilson Pike. While running along Splitlog Road, I decided I needed a restroom break and a water bottle refill. I could have gone to the little rest stop just south of Moore's Lane, but it was further than Smith Park's facilities since I was already at the entrance to Smith Park when I reached Wilson Pike.

Bridge over the RR tracks in Smith Park

I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only the bathrooms were open (which I was really hoping for), but the water fountains were working also! Yay. I splashed my face, took a nice long drink, refilled my water bottle and headed back toward River Park and my truck feeling much refreshed.

Freeze proof water fountains!!

On my way out and along Splitlog Road, I saw a few people here and there, but by the time I was headed back to my truck, I was dodging entire family groups with dogs. Considering it was Sunday, Christmas Day and a gorgeous 70° out, that's not surprising. I also saw more runners, but they were dodging me. :)

While running back, I began doing calculations and came to the realization that I would reach 14-14.5 miles due to my detours and curiosity. So much for my 10 mile run! A 14 mile run is on the long end of a medium length run. Long runs (in my world) start at 16. So...I figured if I ran my usual Crockett Park loop, I'd add enough to reach 16 miles. I wasn't feeling great, but not nearly as bad as I had during the first 3 miles, so I decided to go for it.

Disheveled me after my long run

I had taken enough fuel and I even had an extra gel left because I forgot to take my pre-run gel. I ate every 33-35 minutes. 6 shot bloks, taken 2 at a time and 2 gels.

Tuesday - 4 miles @ 13:54
Wednesday - 4 miles @ 13:54
Thursday - 4 miles @ 13:54

Since I overdid my long run for the the week, I decided to just do 3 easy runs and bag the tempo run for the week. Tanna ended up getting part of his cast adjusted on Monday and I didn't want to be away from home if he needed something, so I ran these runs on the treadmill. All the same iFit program. Run at 13:03/mi for most of a half mile, walk the balance of the half mile, repeat. All at 0% incline.

Weekly Stats

Training mileage: 28 miles
Training time: 6 hours 19 minutes

Total Mileage*: 30 miles
Total Time*: 7 hours 4 minutes
Elevation Gain:  751 ft

* includes warm-up and cool-down

What's Next?

I've decided my long run schedule is too aggressive. This training cycle I've already run 5 16-milers and an 18-miler. The first 2 16-milers were really hard on me with some good amount of pain in the last couple miles, but the other 3 and the 18-miler, while not easy, were not especially hard either. I hit pretty close to my average pace for each of those runs, without slowing down the last miles. In short, I paced them well.

For the last weeks of training, I decided I'll do a long run every other week instead of trying to hit one every week. I plan to run 10-12 milers on the "off" weeks and run more miles during the week to make up the balance of my weekly miles.

Tomorrow I'm scheduled to run a 5k in Murfreesboro. The weather is supposed to be cold and rainy, so that may be all I do, but I might run 6 or 8 miles as a warm-up. I'm in a good position to PR this 5k, so that would be fun. But I'm unlikely to PR if I run 6 or 8 miles first. Decisions, decisions.

This week is a 5-day run week.

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