Almost two months ago, I wrote:
My milestone check-in is the San Francisco half at the end of July — the longest long run I’ll have done to that point. If I get there, and things go well, I’ll keep pushing for Berlin.
Well. I’m pushing.
This week my long run hit 14 miles, 13.1 of which came during the San Francisco Marathon First Half. I’ll be giving that a separate recap — no, it wasn’t really a “race,” but it was interesting exercise in running my pace in a crowd, which isn’t bad practice for a 40,000-person marathon — but the main takeaway is that while I might not have any speed right now, my endurance is my strength.
I’m going to take week eight as my cutback week; it seems to lend itself better to a build-and-recover cycle — OK, not like I know what I’m talking about, but it at least looks like neater blocks: a long run of 8 this week, then 16-18-20-15, then 22-15-8-26.2. I’ve been building nonstop since the beginning of June, and it seems right somehow to close out the first half (!) of training with some recovery.
Here’s how week seven played out:
Monday: Five miles, including a loop of Stow Lake. I felt like I was running faster than I actually was — not that my effort was high, just that I felt, I dunno, sleeker than normal — so I was a little disappointed to discover a 9:25/mile pace, but that’s all mental; the point is, I felt strong.
Tuesday: Morning ride on my old Wildflower training route, only with just one trip up the Legion of Honor hill, all of which I spent grunting and cursing and wondering how I used to do that four or five times in a row. In total, 12 miles in just over an hour, including a lot of stoplights. Yoga at night.
Wednesday: I got major stoplight rage on this run; it felt like I spent the first mile waiting at one intersection or another. I’d planned to continue into a neighborhood that would have had even more stoplights, decided that would just be setting me up for a no good, very bad day, and tacked on some extra miles in the park instead. Wednesdays seem to be for accidental progression runs; this one started with a 10:14 mile and descended every mile to a 9:04.
Thursday: Pilates fail. Again. For the second time, I signed up for a 7:30 a.m. class only to show up to a locked building. I bought three classes at the studio with a Groupon-type deal; I complained after the first canceled class, but at this point I’m just chalking it up to a $30 lesson learned, the lesson being that I will never go back there. Got a ride home and did a long set of PT exercises instead.
Friday: Aquajog with my pool-running buddy; our conversation kept me in the pool for an extra 10 minutes, ending the day with “5 miles” (per Cris‘s formula).
Saturday: Rest. Highlights included packet pick-up and expo sample-trolling, eating two different kinds of meatballs for two different meals, and watching as many hours of Olympics coverage as there were hours with my eyes open. Got into bed around 10 p.m. and read myself to sleep ahead of my 4:30 a.m. wake-up call.
Sunday: 14-mile long run, including a one-mile warm-up (9:45ish, too fast but fueled by a comedy of errors including a missing cab and a missing key) and then the San Francisco Marathon First Half in 2:13:31, a 10:12/mile pace. More to come, but this was by far the strongest I’ve ever felt at the end of a race — yes, probably because I wasn’t “racing,” but even so, I ran Nike, a similar course, a handful of seconds slower last fall. This tied for the most miles I’ve ever run in a day, and I felt like I could have run home after.
Week Seven by the Numbers
- 24 miles run, plus “five miles” in the pool
- 12 miles biked
- One post-race Irish coffee consumed
- Four sample Larabars pocketed at the race expo
- One out-of-town running blogger met (hi, Susan!)
- Two alarms unheard on SF Half race morning