Yes, weeks 5 – 8 happened, they just probably won’t get blogged about. But week 9! Week 9 was a good one. And a cold one.
Week 9: 11/25 – 11/30
Monday, 11/25: 2×1600 (Goal: 11:00), 2x800m (Goal: 5:22) repeats. Result: 11:02, 10:55, 5:27, 5:26. The only note I have in my training log is: NAILED IT. I’ve come to really love track workouts. Maybe it’s the clear-cut approach or the numbers to analyze or the short, bearable segments. Whatever it is, these are becoming my favorites!
Tuesday: Rest. Should have cross-trained, but I worked 7 hours on my feet instead.
Wednesday: Rest and travel! I had an exam in my 8:30 class and then headed home right after.
Thursday: Thanksgiving!! I had to start the day with the local Turkey Trot of course. My sister was supposed to join me, but ended up being sick. The temperature was about 27F that morning. If I hadn’t had the race to go to, I would have had a much harder time getting out of bed! The way this race is set up, you run about 2.5 miles on the parkway and then drop to the trail and loop back to the finish for a 3 mile race. There was a standstill about 40 people deep where the race merged to the trail, so I bypassed that section and made up my own race. I never actually crossed the finish line and ended up running about 4 miles total for a nice tempo run for the week.
Also, word to the wise: double-check the race start time, especially on a freezing morning! I thought the race started at 8, so I got down to the boat launch at 7:35. Turns out, the kids race started at 8 and the 3-miler at 8:30. I did a lot of jumping around to stay warm!
4 miles in 46:00, for an 11:30 pace.
Friday: One final game day as a student in Tiger Stadium!
Oh, it was a good one.
Saturday: 16 miles at marathon goal pace + 30. (13:30). I finished in 3:37 (13:34 pace) which I was pretty proud of for the day after a game day. I got lost in the Garden District, but saw some beautiful houses and some of the race course. I tripped somewhere along mile 10, but had just a little scrape below my right knee. Gloves and sleeves saved my palms and elbows. I must admit, I felt a little hardcore finishing my run with blood down my leg!
Last week, I was asked an interesting question. A friend, who happens to be an athlete herself, asked me what it felt like to run 15 miles. I couldn’t really come up with an answer for her at the time, but thought about this often during my 16-miler. (advantage to not running with music!). I’ve decided my answer is this: Strong. Proud. Almost Invincible. And very, very hungry. I feel like the hard work I’ve done the last few years, and especially the last 9 weeks, has been worth it. That every drop of sweat and every hard workout has added up to being able to finish this long run, and to hopefully finish 26.2 miles in a few short weeks. Bill Rodgers said “The marathon can humble you,” but I think it can also strengthen you. If I can discipline myself to train for and complete a marathon, which is a long and scary distance, I can face the fears I have about completing medical school, and everything else life after college holds. Running is also consistent. I’m not going to be winning races anytime soon, but no matter what else is happening in the world, running will always be one foot in front of the other. Always.
Week 9: 23 miles.
7 weeks to go!