Monday, November 26, 2007

Houston Marathon Training Week 11 of 18: The Cold Front Comes Through

94 miles for the week

M AM – 6¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:34 mpm, 67°F at 4AM [SB/Dow/BS]
M PM - I ran this one! 4 miles recovery run, average pace 7:56, 69°F at 7PM [FlagR/P-/P/C]
Tu – 8¼ miles easy general aerobic, average pace 7:53 mpm, 71°F at 4AM foggy [SB/Dow/2xBS/Ol]
W AM - 8¾ miles harder general aerobic, average pace 7:11 mpm, 76°F at 4AM [SB/Dow/3xBS]
W PM – 7¼ miles, gradually increased pace from 7:18 to 6:44, average pace 7:00 mpm, 77°F at 7PM [B’Wood track]
Th – 10 miles recovery run, average pace 8:27 mpm, Thanksgiving Day, 53°F at Noon sunny and windy [SeaC/NtrailMBTrail-2MMBTrail/SeaC]
F - 12 miles, with 2M-3M-2M at LT pace, average pace 6:43 mpm, LT miles at 6:19, 6:19, 6:28, 6:23, 6:22, 6:21, and 6:14, 51°F starting at Noon, overcast and a strong wind down the track’s straight [Plant-Wdld/B’Wood track/Wdlnd-Plant]
F (later) - 4 miles recovery run, average pace 8:41 mpm, 53°F at 5PM, [FlagR/P-/P/C]
Sa – 9 miles recovery run, average pace 8:25 mpm, 54°F at 2PM with light rain and some heavy rain and windy [SeaC/NtrailMBTrail-MBTrail/SeaC]
Su – 24 miles, average pace of 7:14 mpm, 47°F to 49°F from 1PM after heavy rains, overcast and windy [SeaC/Ntrail-5x(2M-McL1M)-2M/SeaC]

The cold front stormed in Wednesday evening just as predicted. It ended up being even colder and rainier. It hasn’t been cold here for so long I’d forgotten how unpleasant running into a cold, wind-driven rain can be. But I’d still rather run in cold, windy rain than run when the dewpoint is above 75°F.

Friday’s 7 mile LT run was more difficult than I hoped. The wind was coming right down the track’s straightaway, so half of each lap was a struggle and the other half was a coast. I set my watch’s timer to repeat every 47 seconds (6:16 miles). I couldn’t keep up the first two miles and the repeated beeping was really irritating. Miles 1 and 2 were both 3 seconds slow, at 6:19. After the 2nd mile, I gave in and decided to split the 7 LT miles into 2-3-2. I took a short breather and a drink of water and changed my timer to repeat every 48 seconds (6:24 mile). After a slow start on the third mile, I was able to re-gain some ground on my 48 second timer. Miles 3, 4 and 5 were 6:28, 6:23, and 6:22. I felt much better and the break between this set and the next was just long enough to take a drink of water. The 48 second timer wasn’t irritating at all when I was able to gain ground on it. Mile 6 was a 6:21 and mile 7 was a 6:14. Most of the return trip was with the wind and I averaged in the 6:40s for the 2½ miles back home.

Sunday’s 24 mile long run started out pretty slow and difficult. Most of the first two miles were into a pretty strong and cold north wind. I ran the first 9 miles at about a 7:40 to 7:30 pace. My long runs are usually two or three loops from my house out to the Bottomlands Park Trail. But with the fierce north wind exposure on the way to the park, I decided I’d stay on the wooded trail as long as possible. I got in a groove and was able to pick up the pace to about 7:15 to 7:00 for the next ten miles. I was still feeling good so I picked up miles 20, 21 and 22 to about 6:55 pace. I still felt fresh so I picked up the pace again on the way home and finished with miles 23 and 24 at sub-6:30 pace. This long run started out poorly, but it ended up being a real confidence builder.

I received my 30K race bib in the mail this week (the 30K is two weeks away, on December 9th). I should just use this race as a marathon pace run, but I’ll probably end up racing it; I always do.

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