Here we are, a little over 3 week's away from the big dance! I can actually confidently say the training is going pretty swimmingly, as evidenced by my 12 mile run last night. That's right TWELVE!! My body is still feeling it. That was my 6th run so far above 7 miles. Hoping to have 2 more before we get to Vegas. One thing that I realized though, is that I'm once again neglecting the cross training. Its been run, run, run, for the past 2 months. And its really too late to do anything about it at this point, but I did want to start doing Ab Ripper X every other day from now until the race. Definitely feel the lack of strength in my core as I get into the late miles of a long run. Hope that will make even a small difference.
Last week (after Urbanathlon) was 1 hill day, 2 EZ days and a long run. I did the shorter version of hill, for 9 repeats, which felt really good. I always seem to push hard on that last repeat, which causes me to get slightly woozy! But in all, a good training day and I'm glad that I am keeping up with the hill training. 2 EZ days of 3.5 and 2.5 miles. The 2.5 mile day was on a Sunday morning, and I must say, was probably one of the hardest runs of my life. Probably a combination of the fact that I dont usually run mornings, I didnt eat anything, and was still recovering from my 11 mile run Friday night. Ah, 11 miles. 11.2 to be exact. Was going to do the 6 mile loop then 5 mile loop in CP, but was detoured due to the NYC Marathon Festivities. So had to reverse course at 72nd and re-do the 6 mile loop from there. Harlem hills twice (once in each direction) was killer. Average pace ended up around 10:45, which I think I'm satisfied with. But that is still more than a 2:20 half marathon, and I was REALLY hoping to come in under that.
This week, so far, has only been 1 hill day and the long run. I did the extended hill again, this time for 6 repeats, then ran up to 90th and back down, totaling about 6 miles. This was a tougher run, probably a product of being the 4th run in 5 days. And the day before that was volleyball and one more before that was my previous hill day. So it was 6 days of work in a 7 day span. Then, last night was the almighty 12 (well, 12.16) mile run. Again, I think I was still slightly fatigued from all the activity from the past week, but all in all, it was a decent run. Averaged a 10:50 pace, so not too far off the 11 mile pace. It felt really good through 7 miles. Starting the 8th mile, I started to feel it on the uphills. I took a Gu at 4.75, and again at mile 9. I didnt feel its impact as greatly this run, I think because I was so fatigued. Perhaps I should have carried a THIRD packet with me. The bottom of my right foot started to really bother from all the pounding. My ankles and knees actually held up pretty well. Then in the final mile, I started to feel quite a stinger in my left hip. Luckily it wasnt a steady pain, but was pretty sharp. It came and went like an ocean wave, kinda strange, but thankful. So I'm going to take the next 2 days off to FULLY recover, and do either an EZ or tempo run on Saturday (crosses fingers). I need about another 6 miles to cover my weekly mileage.
So, I think I've reached my peak mileage for long runs. So next week I think I'll do either 10 or 11, then 8 or 9 the following week (thanksgiving), before I taper off. Much more pleased with my training this year, so far. I'm hoping it will translate into a good, no, GREAT finish this year!