Well, as of this weekend I am officially halfway through my NYC marathon training! Nine weeks down and nine to go!
|Yes, I caved and ordered one of the ING NYC Marathon tees. It was only a matter of time before one of their weekly emails got to me!|
So how is my training going? I can honestly say that I feel pretty confident about everything so far. The first month was pretty hard since I had taken so much time off running this summer but this last month I have noticed that I’ve started to find my groove.
A few observations about the first 9 weeks:
- Most of my runs have been on my own. With one of my main running buddies out with a stress fracture this training cycle has been a little more lonely than usual. It’s not quite as “fun” waking up to run when it’s dark out by yourself. It doesn’t feel as safe either which is why I have done so many runs on TM.
- My right knee tendonitis finally seems to be going away, even though my mileage has been increasing.
- Speaking of mileage- running between 50-60 miles a week seems to be working for me.
One of the hardest types of workouts for me are tempo runs. They are more challenging than any speed work on the track. I like incorporating them into my training though because they help me so much mentally.
Thirteen months ago I was coming back from my stress fracture. I remember the day I ran a two mile tempo. My goal was to run it just under or around a 7 minute pace. It was SO hard for me but I finished. At the time I could not imagine running any further at that pace. Each week I added a little more knowing that my goal was to average that pace for 13.1 miles. It took three fall half marathons but it finally happened in December at the St. Judes Half Marathon. My official race pace average was 7:04. And I have not run a half marathon since then….
It’s not that I didn’t want to run another half marathon this spring or summer but with two marathons earlier this year and then the tendonitis it just wasn’t meant to be so it didn’t happen. I have a HM scheduled for 4 weeks from Saturday so I am mentally starting to prepare for that. This time I really want to break 1:30. This means I need to average between a 6:45-6:50 mile. Yikes! That seems fast to me. I don’t know if it will happen this time or how many HM’s I’ll have to run before I do this but it is a goal of mine. I’m going to do my best to make it happen on September 29th.
To help me prepare mentally and physically for running this pace I deviated a little from my marathon training this week. My NYC schedule only called for easy runs all week so I thought it would be the right time to incorporate a long tempo run to gauge where I am. Yesterday I ran a 10 mile half marathon goal pace run. I had a 1.5 mile warm-up and then I was ready to go. I ran on the outside lane of the track. Why the track? I had to start pretty early when it was still dark but the track is well lit. There are usually quite a few people out walking or jogging during this time so I feel very safe there. Also, I didn’t want to deal with traffic or anything else that might interrupt my pace.
10 Mile Track Splits:
mile 1- 6:51
mile 2- 7:02
mile 3- 6:48
5K- 21 min.
mile 4- 6:40
mile 5- 6:38
mile 6- 6:44
10K- 42 min.
mile 7- 6:52
mile 8- 6:48
mile 9- 6:52
15K- 63 min.
mile 10- 6:35
Total time: 1:07:52 (6:47 avg.)
I have never run this many consecutive laps on a track. Thankfully I had music and the weather was good. I did grab my water bottle during mile 6 but I didn’t stop to drink it. I pretended it was a real race situation so the clock kept running while I tried to run and drink. I felt pretty good during the last mile but can I keep it up for 3 more? Basically I need to run an additional 5K at this pace to could make it in 1:29.
Next week I’m back to marathon training. It’s hard/ impossible to focus on two big goals at the same time. I know I just need to pick which one is more important and NYC wins this time. I have more money and time invested in it so it really does consume my training. It would be nice if my HM benefited from my training but obviously my workouts are more geared towards marathon training not HM training.
So that’s the training update. Looking forward to a 17 miler this weekend and my first 20 miler next weekend. Hopefully I can stay injury-free. If you are like me, any little daily ache or pain I feel goes straight to my head. I immediately think- “Oh no! I’m done!” I know I need to stay positive and keep doing the things that keep me healthy- stretching ,rolling, icing ,etc. Nine weeks is a long time but I know it will be here before I know it…