Since in my eyes, taper starts 2 weeks before the race, that means there's 6 weeks down, 7 weeks to go of the "meaty" part of Boston training. Kind of hard to believe, actually. But week 6 was definitely a good week, and one that gives me a lot of confidence going forward into the second half of the cycle.
Longest run: 19.1 miles
XT: 2000 yds swimming, half hour yoga, 1 upper body lifting session
Total running miles: 59.9 [ahhhh so close to 60!! If I had known, I absolutely would have run around the block at the end of my long run. Seriously.]
Can I just start off by saying [again] how overjoyed I am to have speedwork in my life this training cycle? Yes, you read that right. I am giddy about mile repeats and fartleks and all of those things that I whined about when the whole point of my training was to go fast and not all that far. Don't get me wrong, I love, love, LOVE being able to go long now, and the fact that 6-8 miles is a "short" run, and that 10-12 is just a "medium". My endurance is way higher than it's ever been and that's amazing, but I missed the feeling of blazing around the track, feeling like I could fly. In general I've actually started looking forward to my workouts that involve running at 10K pace or under, because I know I can make it through them and I'll feel totally badass when I'm done. :)
I did have a really nice long run yesterday! It was a beautiful day [yes, I can appreciate 35 degrees as beautiful...don't judge]. The first half I ran with my running buddy Kelly, we ran along the Charles River path in Watertown which was really pretty and a nice change of scenery from my usual routes. We always have plenty to talk about, which makes the run fly by, and she always has some great insights to share about training - she's older and has been racing distance a lot longer than me, and actually was my club coach for a couple years back in Wisconsin, which is how we know each other. I was telling her that I was kind of amazed at how well my training had been going, and how I felt much stronger than I did training for Baystate, even though I had a couple of months where I basically did nothing in between. She said that some people say it takes a year to really run a good marathon, because your training cycles build on one another and you learn more about how to train and race. All of that past training has an impact on what you're doing now, and that can help to bring you to the next level. She had an experience that pretty much shows exactly that - her first marathon, she ran around 4 hours, then she ran another in 3:45 or so, and then ran a 3rd in 3:39, all within about a year. We were also talking about how marathon training/higher mileage training can really set you up for a solid 5K/10K, there's just a certain amount more of speedwork you need to do to put the icing on the cake.
I really like the idea that every training cycle you do feeds into the next one, that somewhere within you is every mile and every race you've ever run. I know I'm a LOT stronger of a runner right now than I was a year ago. Hell, last year at this time, I ran a 5K at the same pace I ran for 10K last week. Something about marathon training I think has really pushed me to the next level in every aspect of my running, and I feel like as strong as I felt going into and finishing Baystate, that only was a set-up for how strong I feel now. I don't think my time "off" with my IT band issues really ruined anything - in fact, it's possible that those couple of months of lighter/easier running gave my muscles time to absorb all the miles I'd put in the previous 3 months and come out on the other side stronger and more ready to conquer this training cycle.
This is all just random musing - I really don't know. Bottom line is I'm feeling really strong and happy with how my training is going, and excited to extend this feeling to other distances and races and such. That's about it. :)
That was a long tangent haha. 19.1 miles was the perfect way to start off Valentine's Day! The BF and I then went out for coffee, bought some beer for dinner, and went out to lunch at our favorite local restaurant - which is apparently changing management, so all of the beer was on sale - score! $4 for some beers that we were drinking for $7 last week? Sounds good to me! We then headed to Whole Foods to shop for the dinner we had planned - scallop & spinach stuffed pasta with sundried tomato cream sauce. This was our first foray into cooking without a recipe, and we must be pretty good because it. was. AMAZING. The BF even watched the pairs figure skating short program with me....what a guy. :) There was a US couple who skated to music from Love Actually and it made me SO HAPPY!! Apparently it was their first major international competition, and they scored a personal best for the short program. Even though they only ended up in 10th it was cool to see them so pumped about the performance. Much better than the Ukrainian couple who were both in shiny blue spandex bodysuits, and all I could think of when I looked at the man was Gob Bluth from Arrested Development....lol. He was kind of awkward...
Did I mention I love the Olympics? Especially figure skating? It's totally my dance background hehe. So don't be surprised if you see more commentary from me in the next couple of weeks haha. Well...it's Monday again. Off to enjoy my day off of running hehe. Have a good one!