The only big thing that happened this weekend is MARATHON TRAINING has officially begun!! I am following an 18-week program that looks like this (from http://marathontraining.com/marathon/m_sch_2.html):
Marathon Training Schedule (Schedule II)
I modify this a little bit so that my long runs are on Saturdays. I like the fact that there are three 20+ mile runs in this program. I hope that doesn't hurt me, but, rather, give me a boost of confidence for running the actual marathon.
As usual, I ran five times this past week. I want to talk about two of the runs I had. On Tuesday, I had an 8-miler on schedule. I decided to throw some custom interval training in there (you know...pick out a point somewhere up ahead and pick up my pace for that distance). I wish I could force myself to sit down and figure out how to set laps on my Garmin, but you'll just have to trust me on these "intervals". My usual pace for non-long runs is 10:00 - 10:30 / mile. On shorter runs (4-6 miles), I've been able to push it down to about 9:45 / mile. I decided to set these intervals for between 8:30 - 8:45 / mile (super fast for me), and I was successful! These "intervals" were very arbitrary, so I can't tell you the distance or the length of time, but it felt good that I was able to push myself.
On my long run yesterday, I ran into an unusual situation for me. I had a 10-miler on schedule. For my long runs, I start out super conservatively, because I have it in my head that I just want to get the distance done, and the time doesn't matter. I think I may have started out too conservatively:
Mile 1 - 12:04 / mile (warm-up / steep hill)
Mile 2 - 11:20
Mile 3 - 11:16
Mile 4 - 11:24
Mile 5 - 13:39 (pit stop and I didn't pause my Garmin...I go back and forth whether I should "pause"during training, since I won't have that option on race day)
Mile 6 - 11:45 (steep long uphill)
Mile 7 - 11:02
Mile 8 - 10:00 (I was thinking this was probably not correct)
Mile 9 - 9:45 (What?!?)
Mile 10 - 9:35 (I'm still feeling really good! How can this be?)
I'm not sure what to make of this...I try to keep my long runs between 11:00 - 11:30 / mile. Granted, I've been running 10-milers pretty frequently as part of my mileage build-up program. Maybe I'm just getting used to them? All I know is I had plenty of gas in the tank at the end....maybe too much? In a few weeks, my long runs will get much longer in a very short period of time, so I think I'll stick to my strategy for now. Any advice?
After my run, the family and I took our kayaks up to Lake Tahoe for a blissful afternoon of lazy paddling in the water.