1 Week To Go

1 week from yesterday, I'll be running the flat half marathon in Myrtle Beach.

Only 6 days until the next big race and I simply cannot wait.  After watching from afar as many of my friends raced well at the Cupid’s Cup 5K yesterday, I am jonesing big time for a race of my own.  Also, having run well all week, I’m feeling strong, fast, and optimistic about next week’s half marathon in Myrtle Beach.

So while we kill time waiting for the nineteenth to arrive, let’s review the last week, shall we?  I’ve religiously followed the plan provided by Coach Hadley and I feel like it’s really starting to pay dividends.

Monday

With my boss out of work this week, and with my on call coming Thursday, I jumped at the chance to leave the office early and run with Nathan on the University trails.  Since I botched my long/tempo run from Sunday, I decided to make it up on Monday.  The plan called for a 12-mile jaunt with 8 of it at tempo pace(which I estimated as a 7:30-7:45ish pace).

I got nearly 2 miles in, running from work, before meeting up with Nathan on the trails.  While I ran the first 4 miles strictly according to the plan, I felt great and  gradually upped the speed of the run so that by the last 4 we were running in the 7-teens and below.  This run, unlike last Sunday’s debacle, went exceedingly well and I’m grateful to Nathan for running with me.  Tempo runs go infinitely better when you have friends to run with.

Tuesday

Day off – everybody needs them occasionally.

Wednesday

Again headed out  from work a little early (I knew I would catch up any lost hours, and then some, with the impending on call) and again met Nathan on the trails.  I left my Garmin at home so I have to guesstimate the time and distance for this one.  I always run at a slightly faster clip with Nathan than I would if I were alone (he’s significantly faster so I push things a bit because I fear I might be slowing him down).   Nathan was only running 4 miles (it was his second run of the day, and his easy one), so we turned around early and he took the offshoot trail back to his car.

On my way back, I encountered Leonard so I got in more miles with him.  Again, Leonard’s faster than me so, again, I ran a little faster than I normally would.

By the time I got back to my car, I’d been gone for well over an hour.  I logged a conservative 8 miles at 8:15 pace on Athleticore, but I was probably closer to 9 miles at 8:05-8:10.  Regardless, another sold effort.

Thursday

Here’s when the week started getting dicey.  The dreaded on call began.  The normal hours of the work day were fine as I was only paged (actually text messages to my phone but I still call them pages) once or twice.  But about 5:30, the pages started rolling in.  As soon as I would get done with one, another would come in.  Stressful stuff, and it looked like I wouldn’t be able to run at all.

By 7:00, I had finished with my last call for the time being, but it required me to log back in to do some more work at 8:00.  How was I supposed to squeeze a run in?  Luckily, we have a gym at work, although since I’m  not a member, they’d charge me $6 for the visit.  Fine.  I rushed down there, coughed up the 6 bucks, jumped on a treadmill, and knocked out 5 miles ($1.20 per mile!)  I showered and rushed back upstairs to finish my work.  It was not a pleasant evening, and I got paged multiple times throughout the night later, but I managed to run and for that I was grateful.

Friday

By Friday morning, I was thoroughly shell-shocked after a night filled with multiple pages and stressful Tower of Babel conference calls (I work in IT and at night most of the end users who are calling me for help are in India.  Since it’s their daytime, they have zero qualms about paging someone).  I was supposed to have lunch with several of my running friends, but I feared venturing too far away from the PC where getting paged would put an abrupt end to my lunch and require me to rush home.  So I stayed put.

I had another stress run on the schedule.  Working from home, I decided to shoot over to the little gravel trail behind Kenton Place.  If I were to be paged, I was within 5 minutes of home and could make it back quickly.

This workout went great as well and, miraculously, I made it through the entire run without being paged.  I was pleased with my splits which were as follows:

Plan: 6 x 3:00 with 3:00 recoveries (I’ve done Yasso’s 800’s in the past so I slightly altered this workout to 6 x .5 miles with .25 recoveries. This way I can compare the workout with what I’ve done in the past and compare apples to apples):

1) 2:58 w/2:36 recovery
2) 3:02 w/2:32 recovery
3) 3:01 w/2:35 recovery
4) 3:04 w/2:35 recovery
5) 3:03 w/2:39 recovery
6) 3:07

Saturday

Not a peep from the pager all night.  I read everyone’s results from the Cupid Cup 5k, and it sounded like just about everyone had huge PR’s.  I felt left out and blamed the pager for keeping me at home even though I had no intentions of racing anyway.

Instead, I had junk miles to run and I cruised through an easy 7.  I took it to be a good sign that my pace kept creeping faster and faster, unintentionally.  I finished in right around 56:35.

Sunday (Today)

Long run, scheduled for 14.  Running with Sarah the past 2 weekends, I bailed both times without completing the run.  I was bound and determined to complete this one, even while I had to lug the stupid cell phone with me in case the dreaded page(s) came in.

I felt fine throughout and was never paged.  We completed our 14 miles, without incident, in precisely 2 hours.  Again, I kept inching ever faster towards the end of the run, without intending to.  That’s encouraging – usually I drop off towards the end and eventually wind up slogging in.

Overview

That’s it, one week in the life of a runner, yours truly.  Feeling ready for Myrtle Beach, seeing a 1:2x-something in my future.  Is anybody else running there next weekend?  If so, see you there!

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