Let's recap shall we? I started this training way back in September. September 19th to be exact. That was only 3 short weeks after my Ironman race. So basically I haven't stopped training. And I'm ready. I'm ready to stop training and race this thing. Arizona Desert Classic - BRING IT!
My plan (Pfitzinger 18 weeks with 55 mile peak) was awesome! The execution of the plan... pretty close to flawless. It's been a tough go but I have to say I've seen the results. All of the 'important' days I've pretty much nailed. And by 'important' I'm referring to the following:
8 Miles with 4 @ 15k pace
9 Miles with 4 @ Marathon pace
10 Miles with 5 @ 15k pace
11 Miles with 6 @ Marathon pace
15 Miles with 12 @ Marathon pace - did during the Seattle Half Marathon
12 Miles with 7 @ 15k pace
9 Miles with 5 x 1000m @ 5k pace
17 Miles with 14 @ Marathon pace
10 Miles with 4 x 1200m @ 5k pace
10k race - Nookachamps Winter Runs 10k race report to come
Yes, that is a lot of key workouts and yes I nailed them all! I think I'm most proud of the 17 miles with 14 @ marathon pace. I went into the evening before nervous, like I was 'racing the next day' kind of nervous. When morning came the weather was nasty. It was downright pouring. For those that live outside of the Northwest I'm sure you're assuming this is a common occurrence but in all reality a 'downpour' with fat droplets of rain is not really all that common. I've been quite lucky in the past to have skipped long runs on days where it's nasty. There was no skipping this run though.
Gabe and I hopped in the car and distributed two water bottles on my route. Once back home I loaded up my handheld gel flask (jerry-rigged with an elastic strap for easy 'hand holding') with a few GUs and then headed out into the rain for my 3 mile warm-up lap around the house. I felt heavy, and running even at an easy pace felt hard. My only thought was 'just see what you can do'. If I gave it my best shot then that's all anyone could ask.
So proud - just finished making my elastic strap for my gel flask.
This thing was a life saver - no 'opening' of gel packets while running AND the space to dilute the gels.
Back at the house I dropped off my ear warmers and my gloves since I knew the next 14 I would be working hard and those things would only irritate me. I jumped off the front steps, made my way to the main street and then hit it. I chose an out-and-back course, mimicking what I would be doing in the race, and ran from my house to Fairhaven along the waterfront and back. It's not the flattest course as you have to come up from the waterfront to State Street to get you into Fairhaven but it was close enough.
I can't tell you what I thought about during this run because I don't remember all the details. I remember wanting desperately to reach the turnaround point and sucking back all the water that was stashed there as I walked for a brief period. I remember struggling coming back on State Street when faced with an incline and repeating to myself to just make it to the top, put your chin down and grind it out and then it's a slight downhill. I remember hitting the second water spot and again taking a brief walk to get all the water down. And I definitely remember those last miles as I ran up Squalicum Parkway and how that road seemed so much longer than before.
Soaking wet post run (you can't really tell but I'm drenched). I also hate wearing hats... because they make me look like a boy.
It was a tough day, mentally and physically and it was only a training day! In the end I was all smiles because I had run the 14 miles at a 7:56 pace. I had nailed it and I felt ready for this marathon.
Now, as I sit here typing this, I know I'm ready for this marathon. I've done the time and the mileage. Taper is a time to rest and mentally prepare for the big day. Snow and cold be damned (yes, I'm starting to get a cold but am fighting it with all the apple cider and zinc cough drops that I can). Boston via Phoenix is calling!