Monday: Swim—Masters swim team (2800yds); 8-minute abs
This workout was a bruiser. I woke up exceptionally unmotivated to do anything. I made it to the pool, but I didn’t feel particularly strong while warming up. And then I saw the workout, and just groaned internally:
4 x 50 (distance per stroke)
4 x 50 (closed fist)
10 x 50 @ :55
500 negative split
This was a hard workout from the get-go. I swam the first 500 really hard (you were supposed to get faster throughout, so the last 150 or so was tough), and I was gassed afterwards. The ten 50s shouldn’t have been that hard because a few weeks ago, I swam 50 of them at that interval. I think maybe I swam these a little faster (and thus had a little more rest, though. The “200 pace” was a 500 for the faster lanes. The “pace” means that you pick a certain pace to practice. I kind of vaguely chose my generic triathlon pace which meant I was swimming at a good pace, but at a pace that was really easy to maintain for 200 yards. That was wise because I needed a little bit of a recovery before tackling the last 500. For the last 500, we were supposed to stop for 5-10 seconds after the first 250 to check our time so we could easily compare it to our time for the second half. With my lack of motivation and just generally feeling a bit out of it, I really had to up my mental game to push the last 500 hard. I swam the first half in about 3:52 and the second in about 3:48, so I did manage a negative split (just barely!). The combined time (7:40) would be my fastest 500, though with an eight second break between the two halves, it’s not really an “official” practice PR. I also did some core work in the evening. For some reason, it was exceptionally difficult, and I struggled through the eight minutes.
Tuesday: Run—1200m, 6 x 1200, 800m
Another tough speed workout in the books. Actually, this was the longest speed workout I’ll do during marathon training, with four and a half miles of intervals. The tracks are all still covered in snow, so I took it to the treadmill before work. There were other people at the tiny office gym at 6:00am, so I couldn’t just blast Pandora like I did last time. After warming up, I set the treadmill to 8.9mph (6:44/mile) and a 1% incline and got going. My plan was to do six repetitions of running .75 miles, then hopping off the treadmill for .25 miles. It was a hard workout, and the fact that it was on a treadmill made it harder this time around. Each 1200 seemed to last forever. And since I couldn’t listen to music, I couldn’t pull my “don’t look at the time until this song is over” trick which didn’t help. After the first couple of reps, my legs started burning by the end of the first 400. They would eventually “get used” to the pace, and I never felt like I was in danger of flying off the back of the treadmill, but it was rough. The second-to-last 1200 was especially difficult, and I actually considered turning the pace down. I gutted it out, though. During the last 1200, I upped the pace a bit during the last 200. I kept cranking it up bit by bit until I hit 9.5 mph (6:19/mile) right at the end. Really, I wasn’t being hardcore at all. I just wanted to be done faster and knew I had to run faster in order to do so. I was tired exhausted the rest of the day. Sleepy tired, not leg tired. In fact, I believe the words, “I’m so unbelievably tired I think I might die” crossed my lips. It was my flair for the dramatic acting up again.
Wednesday: Bike—13.79 miles (49:40); 8-minute abs
I thought it was going to be a warm-ish bike ride (upper 30s), but when noon hit, it was a good bit colder than I expected (lower 30s). I got out on the bike anyway and almost turned right back around. Seriously, my face hurt after 30 seconds on the bike. I don’t know if my face got used to it or if the wind died down, but it got much better after the first few minutes. I was actually able to get a decent lunchtime ride in. There’s not much to say except to note—again—that I am counting down the days until the weather gets warmer and longer outdoor rides make more sense. I also did core work in the evening. It felt better than it did on Monday, and I’ve eradicated the “easy” exercises.
Thursday: Run—5 miles (37:16)
I wasn’t feeling a run on Thursday. My stomach didn’t feel great for most of the morning, but it was feeling a little better by the time I went running around 1:00pm. I started out pretty strong, but immediately felt like my legs were a little heavy. So after the first half mile or so, I pulled back a bit. I was still moving along at a fairly good clip, but I took the edge off. The wind was against me on the way out, so I was feeling pretty tired by the time I hit my turn-around point. The way back felt much better, and I sped up just a little bit. I managed a pretty good kick to finish, and I didn’t feel horrible at the end. I finished with a pace of 7:27/mile, which would have been thrilling three months ago but is currently just kind of “meh.” I felt a bit flat out there, and that’s okay. It makes me a little nervous because I have a 20 miler in two days, but last week, I ran an almost identical 5 mile time and nailed my long run. And hey, one more run crossed off the schedule. Only seven more hard runs until the marathon!
My favorite day of the week! As usual, I was excited for my rest day. I slept in (until 6:00am!) and didn’t obsess over my water intake. I did, however, start obsessing over the weather for my 20 miler on Saturday. The forecast predicted rain/snow all night on Friday and all day on Saturday. I started frantically putting backup plans in place.
Saturday: 20.05 miles (2:46:14)
The snow was pretty bad on Saturday, and the roads were slushy and slick. I didn’t want to risk hurting myself, so I decided to run at the indoor track. 73 laps. Daunting. Even more so because the track was closed most of the day for a high school meet and didn’t open until 6:30pm. As much as I hated the idea of running 20 miles that late, it seemed like the best option. I’m going to write a post about the wonderful experience of running around a track for almost three hours, so I won’t go into too much detail here. The short version is that indoor long runs are a tough mental challenge and that I actually like some hills (or at least, some variation in terrain). I finished with an 8:17/mile pace which, despite being slower than last time, is still pretty good considering I ran at such a strange time of day.
Another unplanned rest day. I was going to go on a bike ride, but I woke up on Sunday morning to find that my car had been stolen… with my bike inside. I could have still done core work, but I honestly didn’t care, so I spent the day feeling sorry for myself and coloring (after doing all the responsible adult things like filing a police report and e-mailing my boss to inform him I’m working from home on Monday).