8 weeks sounds way shorter than 2 months, FYI. Wow, I should really try to post more than once a week haha. Now I have all SORTS of stuff to ramble about and this entry is going to be looong...oh well, bear with me. :)
First up, the boring weekly numbers:
Longest run: 20.5 miles
XT: 1 hour yoga....annnd that's about it :)
Total running miles: 56.3
You'll notice that I only ran 5 times this week...yes, I succumbed and took an unplanned day off on Thursday. I had 6 miles on the schedule, but I ended up working a 9 hour day instead of the usual ~6, then was exhausted and hungry by the time I got home, was super sore from Tuesday's workout, and the final straw was that the BF tempted me with fajitas. Sooo I felt really guilty for awhile - does that happen to anyone else? I feel like when I get to this level in my training I really beat myself up if I miss a run for a reason other than being really sick or injured. In this case though, I think it really ended up being a MUCH needed mental/physical health day...and also, I don't think I would have been able to run 40 miles in the back half of the week if I hadn't taken the day off.
This week was CHALLENGING! Of the days I ran, 4/5 were in the double digits, and 4/5 were either workouts or moderate days. I also backloaded my week like crazy and so ended up doing 40 miles from Friday-Sunday...something I don't really want to ever do again. I had some really fantastic workouts that boosted my confidence though. Tuesday we got some gross slushy snow/rain, so I wound up doing my fartlek workout on the treadmill.
Confession: I really like doing fartleks on the treadmill. I think it's the one and only kind of workout that I can be OK with running to nowhere, because I really enjoy knowing that I'm actually running the pace I'm supposed to be running, and having to change the pace every few minutes makes the time fly. I really can't believe I actually ran 11+ miles on a TM buuut I guess there's a first time for anything? Anyway, the workout was 10 miles with 2 minutes @ 10K pace every 5 minutes....orrr just 10 miles of 2 minutes @10K, 3 minutes easy. I originally got scared off by the speed/distance combo and figured I would warm up for 10 minutes, then do ~13 sets of the fartlek for a total of about 8 miles fartlek, and then do a 10 minute cooldown. It was kind of hilarious doing this at the gym, because I swear at least 3 sets of people came in, did their entire workout, and left in the time that I was on the treadmill. Luckily we don't have time limits so no one gave me a second glance...except one guy next to me who kept peeking at my treadmill to see how fast I was going, lol. I actually felt really, really good. I put the TM on 7:03 for most of the 10K sections, only dialing it down to 7:08 when I was reeeeally feeling it. Before I knew it I was at my 13th interval and of course, being me, I thought what the hell? I can totally actually make it to 10 miles of this. So I finished it out, including a sprint to the finish after the last 2 minute 10K interval. I got off the treadmill and thought I was pretty much going fall over haha. BUT - I had made it!! This was one of those workouts that had totally terrified me and I was SO proud to have completed it and completed it strong! Hopefully I can channel this in a few weeks when I have the same workout on the schedule...except the times are reversed...gulp!
I had a fun tempo run experience at the Fresh Pond race on Saturday...EVERY single Saturday, there's an informal race around the reservoir - either 1 lap [2.5 miles] or 2. There were about 25 or so people racing and something about it I just really enjoyed - you show up, someone says "ready set go", you run, and then when you're done they take down your time. It was the perfect stimulus for a solid tempo effort - not like an all out race where you're really shooting for a PR, but also a little something extra to push you more than just being out there by yourself. The first lap I felt really smooth and just cruised - I had no idea how fast I was running but the effort seemed about right. I came through the 2.5 mile at 18:29, which I knew was a little fast for the "HM-MPace" that I was supposed to be running, but whatever. The second lap definitely got harder, but still under control. I was sort of pacing off a couple of men who were also doing the 5 miler, so it was kind of nice to have someone to keep my eye on. I wound up finishing in 37:01, so I hardly slowed down at all the second lap - a very evenly paced tempo run, which is EXACTLY what I wanted to get out of this workout! It wound up being 7:24 pace, which is probably a little faster than was necessary but not too bad. The funniest thing was, I ended up winning the 5 mile race for the women [out of probably...3 or 4] and technically I suppose I set a new PR since I've never run a 5 mile race before! How often do you get to do all that on a random tempo workout? I really enjoyed the old-school, low key feel of the races, and since they have them EVERY Saturday I can definitely see myself using them for workouts in the future. Plus, the added challenge of dodging/hurdling off-leash dogs adds some extra entertainment to the workout. :)
So then yesterday was my lovely long run. I had 18 on the schedule but in true HurdlingHam fashion, I managed to accidentally-on-purpose miscalculate my route and ended up running 20.5. From the start, my legs just felt crappy, and when I feel crappy I generally need familiar territory to mentally get me through the run. So I scrapped my meticulously planned 18 mile route and wound up running laps around Chestnut Hill Reservoir for...a long time. Like almost 2 hours. Try as I might I just never found that groove through the first 15 miles of the run. I spent a lot of time doing math in my head, trying to figure out how many laps I needed to do to get to the distance that, with adding on the ~6 mile loop I was going to do after, would add up to 18. Obviously my math skills while in the midst of a long run are kind of sketchy because not only did I underestimate the distance I had to run after, buuuut I also added on an extra 1.5 mile loop around the reservoir. Whoops. By the time I got off the loop, I was feeling pretty awful. I bought a Gatorade and drank/ran for the next couple of miles - seriously, miraculous. All of a sudden it was like I could FEEL the sugar and hydration hitting my muscles, and my legs suddenly didn't feel so crappy. Then the song "Shots" came on my ipod, and I was just inspired haha. The last 5 miles or so I wound up picking it up to just under 8 minute pace, and my legs felt STRONG - I was thrilled! So, it was a good long run. I have to say I was pretty pumped to see that 20. I felt pretty bad for about an hour after the run, but with the help of recovery socks + red hook winter ale + Bluestone pizza [the BEST PIZZA EVER!!] I was feeling much better by the time I went to bed.
OK, boring workout recaps OVER! Annnnd now I can't even remember what else I was going to say haha. I can't believe there are only 8 WEEKS UNTIL BOSTON!!! That is crazy, terrifying, awesome, exciting...all of the above.