It's true. I am losing a week of marathon training. The reason: My goal race is now on April 28th instead of May 5th. I have decided to run the Eugene Marathon instead of the Tacoma City Marathon for a few reasons:
1. Eugene is a faster course and I might be able to meet my goal of winning a marathon while running a decent time there.
2. Eugene offers elite entry and prizes. Tacoma does not offer either.
3. I know Eugene is a top-notch event since I've run it before, once as an elite. Tacoma is an unknown to me.
4. I can drive to Eugene, so it will actually be cheaper even though I'm paying for a hotel room (especially since I don't have to pay registration).
5. My Mom wasn't as excited as I expected about me running a marathon in her back yard. She'd rather travel somewhere to watch.
So, I am now 9 weeks out from my goal race. I also decided to switch up my racing schedule and run a 10-mile race next weekend. My workouts have been going so well. I'd love to see where I am right now.
Speaking of workouts. This week started off a little cruddy with a foot tendon issue cropping up on Wednesday that had me debating about whether I should rest and ice it or try to run on it. I decided to take the day off from running and ice it. That was the right answer. The foot cleared up by the next morning so I could do my 10 x 800m workout at 5 a.m. with no pain or soreness.
My goal for the workout was to run between 2:50 and 3:00 per repeat and take a 2 minute jog in between. I was to start on the slow end and work my way down.
Just as an aside, I do all of my workouts that have repeats longer than 400m on the bike trail behind my house, which is mostly flat terrain with both a dirt shoulder and asphalt bike trail. The trail has markers every half mile and I use those for my repeats. I know I could do this workout faster on a treadmill or even a track, but I like to train in conditions (e.g. weather, passing runners, veering off the trail as bikes come at me) similar to what I'll race in. Luckily, I don't have to wear a headlamp when I race!
Back to the workout. One thing I really like about Coach Hadley's program is that I repeat most of the workouts on a regular basis--every 4-5 weeks. It is a great way to gauge fitness over time. I did this workout about 5 weeks ago and thought I did a good job. I stayed within the split range Coach Hadley gave me, which was 3:00-3:05, averaging 3:03 per 1/2 mile. I recall feeling like I had given that workout a solid effort--not all out, but definitely working.
My splits this time around, on the same course, were:
average = 2:53
I finished feeling just the same as I had the last time I did the workout, but I averaged 10 seconds per repeat faster. That's 20 seconds per mile! That's leaps and bounds. I also ran this workout in trainers because I had a feeling the flats I wore last week started the irritation in my tendon. I guess that proves it isn't all about the shoes! I felt great after this workout, enough so to spend the day walking 9 miles out in the field in rubber boots and doing my shrimp squats. Bonus: my tendon wasn't sore at all last night after all of that abuse.
I don't believe I've ever improved that quickly in such a short period of time. I'm trying to savor the feeling right now because I know that there are both ups and downs in this sport.