Week 17 (hold on body, just hold on!):
Monday--Even though it is my spring break, I could simply not pass up the chance to meet up with a few of my MIT buddies for a 6@5 run. There were a couple last minute cancellations, but most of us made it, and the easy miles were perfect for my body today. Overall pace: 10:08.
Tuesday--With being off from work, I decided to do my strength workout today rather than Monday night as I usually do. I was able to get in a nice hour-long workout after breakfast: 20 minutes of glute strengthening exercises, 25 minutes of core/arms/leg strength, and 15 minutes of yoga stretches. My body felt so much better after doing this! I was feeling tired and sluggish, but all of the stretching really helped to "wake me up".
Wednesday--4:30 AM was the start time for our 9 miles today, as I couldn't fathom doing this one alone and my training partners don't get a spring break. We did 2 miles of warm-up, then 6 x 4 minutes of tempo intervals (7:40-8:00 pace) with 1 minute of jogging between each, and ended with a 3 mile cool down. For some reason this workout felt harder than the other tempo ones have felt. Allison L. and I struggled getting settled in our paces; we'd look at our watches and see 7:50, and then we would be at 7:20! But we did hit the overall intervall paces. Our six intervals were: 7:43, 7:40, 7:34, 7:45, 7:29 (downhill), 7:34. Overall pace: 8:39.
Thursday--We left for a short family vacation to Indianapolis on Wednesday morning, so this run took place on the hotel treadmill. I wasn't too thrilled with the prospect of 5 sweaty miles, and it was just about as bad as I figured it'd be. I was bored (no friends to chat with, and I left my iPod shuffle in the car) and hot (small room, no ventiliation, and I left my water bottle in the car). I couldn't wait for it to be OVER. Heavy legs for the first mile or so, but felt fine after that. Overall pace: 9:24.
Friday--"rest" day... not really a lot of resting! We went to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis on Thursday, and to the Indianapolis Zoo on Friday. Lots of walking!!!
Saturday--We arrived home at dinner time on Friday, so fortunately our little trip didn't interfere with my long run plans. Allison needed to be finished by 9:00 so this run had to start at 5:30... ugh. No one loves that! Fortunately we had a great crew running today: me, Allison, Jess, Megan M., Megan B-F., Jenny V-S., and my old high school friend Craig (who I haven't seen in almost 20 years and who is training for something like his 6th 100-miler!). I mapped out two big loops (12 and 8 miles) starting from the rec center so as to avoid the countless out-and-backs that we usually do on the Genoa Trail. I even planted water bottles along the route for us! Unforunately, my plan backfired on us as Allison had some really awful GI issues at around mile 6. Luckily we were not far from my house and I was able to detour us to a construction site where I knew there would be porta-potties for her.
I myself did have one bout with GI distress, and the porta-potty at around 11.5 was a definitely godsend. I actually felt great the rest of the run as far as my stomach went, thankfully. I figure that if it happens during the marathon, I will need to just get in and out of the porta-potty as fast as I can.
No marathon-pace miles this week, but we did do several short pick-ups through the run. Our splits were:
9:13, 9:07, 9:08, 9:05, 9:13
9:11, 9:13, 9:16, 9:07, 9:14
9:05, 9:03, 9:13, 9:03, 9:10
8:56, 8:55, 9:00, 9:30, 9:14
So, overally, pretty darn consistent! I was so excited at mile 18 to meet up with Allison S. and Sharon--totally on accident, but it was fun to finish together! Overall pace for this run: 9:09. My body feels like... well, like it just ran 20 miles. Right now my biggest concern is my hip flexor (at least, that is what I think it is... I've never had any hip flexor issues before, so I'm guessing based on the area of the pain). I think I tweaked it a week ago, and I've felt it a little bit all week (mostly after each run, but nothing more than a 1 or so on a scale of 1-10). After this run, however, it's been bad. Certain things hurt worse than others... lifting up my bent leg when I'm in a seating position, for example, causes an 8 or a 9 in pain. Walking isn't really painful, though. I am hoping that it's just a minor thing and that starting taper will help. I see my chiropractor on Wednesday and I know he'll have some ideas as well.
Sunday--Stuck to yoga today for my cross training. I was hoping it would help to stretch out my hip flexors. Sadly, it doesn't really feel any better today. I will decide tomorrow morning if a run is in the cards. I will not run if it hurts... so I may be taking a few days off. Praying this is minor!!!