Happy Boston Marathon day, running friends!
So I skipped my recovery run this weekend, not because I didn’t have time, but because I decided to heed my body’s reaction to Saturday’s 18 miles, which wasn’t bad at all. It was a great run — mostly flat roads and paths, a couple of steep hills…and best of all, I hit my marathon goal pace. I was pretty pleased with this given a.) I was dodging rain puddles and veering to the far side of the shoulder along one stretch to avoid getting splashed by cars and b.) the route from my driveway meant a sizable downhill at the beginning and pretty big climb the final two miles. Oh, and I resisted the delicious smells of a waterfront restaurant that tempted me at the halfway point. Didn’t plan that one all that well, but I was wanting to try a route other than the Bayshore Marathon one I’ve been on for my long runs. I made do with a Gu.
But back to the way my body felt post-run: sore, but in a good way. No aches or pains, just that holy sh*t I just ran 18 miles, from the east to west side of the city and back kind of soreness. Worst part was the inner thigh chafing I experienced — oops, forgot about that part of long runs wearing a running skirt. Next time I’ll be more prepared. I told myself I’d see how I felt Sunday morning, when I planned to meet up with a few friends for an easy 4 or 5 miles. I woke up the next day feeling like my legs needed more rest, that I just didn’t want to chance pushing it too much. That winter decided to return to northern Michigan only affirmed my decision to finish The Art of Racing in the Rain (you all must, must read this book), watch a couple of movies and play Uno with my family. It was that kind of a day.
I like that I feel more in tune with my body than ever because of this training. Which leads me to what I’m working on at this point, with six (six!) weeks remaining before the marathon. I’m now up to running about 40 miles a week, with Wednesday’s long run of 10 miles serving as an opportunity to “train my mind for pace,” as Lisa has instructed me to do. This means I’m focusing on my split times based on my marathon goal of finishing in 3:44:59 — BQ time needed: 3:45.
Over the past two weeks that I’ve been focusing on goal pace on Wednesdays, I haven’t exactly hit the mark. The first time I was on the slower side while this past week, I got into a groove and exceeded goal pace by a half a minute. Basically, it turned into a tempo run. So I’m still working on finding that just-right pace that I’ll feel confident maintaining for the long haul, though this weekend’s 18-miler definitely gave me confidence I’m getting there.
Tuesdays’ 6 miles are going to be on hills now, with the idea that I’ll get to some hill repeats soon. On Friday, another 6-miler, I’m going to shoot for sub-8 min/miles, for a tempo run.
I’m continuing on my quest for inspiration. “Inspired people do inspirational things,” Lisa tells me this past week while handing me a copy of The Spirit of the Marathon to watch (I could watch this over and over again in the coming weeks) and the book Once a Runner by John L. Parker.
I am feeling inspired, and I’m starting to get really excited about this marathon. It’s so close now.
Hoping you’re all feeling inspired with your running, too.