I can't believe it's already December. I also can't believe I only have 6 short weeks of training left before I run Surf City Marathon. I am excited and nervous because it's been a really long time since I ran a road marathon where it's pedal to metal from the get go. Training has been going really well. I am feeling really strong and logging some good volume with all the quality workouts Scott has lined out. 3 quality runs in one week has been my limit but this last training cycle we pushed it to 4. I get one rest or recovery run in between. The goal is to push the recovery and lactate tolerance levels. So far my body has responded well. The M-Pace runs are in the 12-15 miles at this point. The T-Pace runs are pushing 45-60 minutes. The track workouts are building meaning the distances are growing while the speed stays constant. The long runs are still 3-4 hours of casual but consistent trail running. Even though there's no quality built into the long trail run I am still counting it as quality because it has it's own fatigue factor.
As of last week I am doing the track workout on Sunday after the long trail run. This serves 2 purposes. First it makes my body work when fatigued forcing the VO2 to it's limit. Second, there is only one day of recovery before the long M-Pace run. Last week was my first attempt at this new approach and all went well. I was a few seconds off on the longer intervals (800-1000's) but the real test was today's run. With the temperatures in the PNW well below 25 degrees Cheri and I hit the trails for a 15 mile M-Pace workout. I was anxious to test the new theory and my recovery from Sunday. However when my car read 16 degrees and I felt like my heater could not keep up I wondered if the sub 7:40 pace for that distance would be doable. The warm up felt darn stiff as my body adjusted to the immense amount of clothing. My legs were super cold even with full length tights. I tried to put on 2 pair but they were just to tight! As we did our warm up my face felt frozen. I was wearing an ear band an a hat plus most of my chin was covered but still my lips became immobile. I knew Cheri was in the same boat so the mumbling conversation wasn't weird. Reluctance seemed to be the mood of day as we dropped our gear and headed off for the M-Pace portion. Both of us seemed to give each other a cautionary, "we'll see" goodbye. Feeling like my body was in slow motion was irritating but the paces just kept coming most faster than needed. At one point my contact in my right eye seemed frozen to my eyeball. I reached up and put my hand warmer on my eye to add some warmth then remembered to blink feverishly from that point on. After 8 miles of sub 7:40's I felt the fatigue begin to settle in. My hamstrings were beginning to tighten but I knew I could do the rest and make my times. In the end it was one of those workouts you can put in the tool box. If we can do that many miles at M-Pace in those temps we can handle more than we think we can. Although, If Cheri wasn't as hard core as she is I am not sure I would have bucked it up.
Tuesday's have become a hairy workout day. Seems instead of planning for the long weekend back to backs I gear up for Tuesday's. It's really a nice change for now. After the long M-Pace workout I head straight to a leg workout then follow that up with hammered. I don't know how much longer I can sustain that kind of load in one day. I figure I can get up to about 17 miles before I need to drop one of the weight sessions. It's been super fun to share this tough days with the girls. I look forward to the run and seeing everyone who shows. It's really motivating and keeps me accountable.
The T-Pace runs are no certainly no picnic but I think the length feels short compared to Tuesday's. Perspective can so easily be modified. I love that. My weekly mileage is up in the 60's to 70's and that's high for me. Especially this time of year.
As the year comes to end planning for next year is on my mind. I didn't get into Western States so I will be going back to Bighorn. I also put in for the Wasatch lottery and am hopeful. Wasatch is my favorite course (Hardrock is in it's own catagory) and I want to go back and try for a faster time. I hope I get in. If I don't I am not sure what I will do on the back end of the summer. I am also trying to drop in some shorter stuff this year. I would like to do a couple of 50 mile races and 2-3 50K distances. I am definitely going to try to make the new Mt. Timpanogos Marathon held on May 22nd. I will use that as a training run and most likely do hill repeats on the back side the day before. I am excited about the opportunity to do that event. As for 50's thinking about Leona Divide or Mt. Diablo. Not sure yet.
As for blogging. It's been sparse. Mostly because I still struggle with Blogger and the Mac. I am going to go back to my PC for blogging. I can't seem to get pictures to upload using my Mac. I have to confess I am not sold on the Mac. Alex is begging to have the Mac and he might find it wrapped up nicely under the tree. The real problem is I have ADD when it comes to this tech stuff. I just want Bill to fix it for me. :) At least I am honest. he, he.