Training, December 19 - 25

Monday: PM - 10 miles easy w/ light drills and strides - Planned on GS, but felt a little beat up still from yesterday's workout and core work, so I skipped it.

Tuesday: PM - 4 mile w/u, light drills, strides, 200m in 29.91, Aussie Quarters - 71, (40), 72, (43), 71, (41), 74, (42), 72, (41), 73, (43), 71, (40), 73, (43) - 15:18 for 4800m - 3 mile w/d (10 miles total); GS2

Not too bad, though I was kind of down about this workout while it was going on, seeing 73 or 74 seconds flash on my watch.  But that was entirely the wrong attitude to have.  I worked hard and ran the right effort, which is all I can really ask for—I was just a bit run down going into it for some reason.  When you're training hard, you're going to feel less than your best sometimes and that's fine.  Particularly in the winter, when there are even more uncontrollable external factors than usual, I need to do a better job of detaching myself from times, just running the right effort (more on this though in the week's recap).  Hell, Ryan Hall ditched his watch entirely for quite a while during his last marathon buildup so as not to get caught up in his splits.
Wednesday: PM - 8 miles easy; GS1

Thursday: PM - 7 miles easy - Felt pretty flat and decided to push the planned progression run off until tomorrow.

Friday: PM - 1 mile w/u, 9 mile progression run - 6:05, 5:56, 5:49, 5:39, 5:38, 5:33, 5:25, 5:24, 5:15 - 50:48 total - 2 mile w/d (12 miles total)

Glad I pushed this effort off until today.  I still struggled a bit, and really was running a bit quicker than I needed to early on.  Planned on 10 miles, but the wind on the second half was sucking the life out of me, so I had to cap it at 9.  Solid effort.

Saturday: AM - 8 easy; GS2

Sunday: AM - 8 easy

Summary: 63 miles, 3x GS

Another step in the right direction; nothing special, and the mileage was a bit low, but I'm fine with it on Christmas week.  I need to start doubling next week, continuing to get the mileage up.  As alluded to above, the more I'm working out in the wind, cold, and rain/snow, the more I'm realizing that times and splits won't necessarily mean much during this buildup.  And by getting caught up in splits, I'm likely doing myself a disservice by running too hard at times.  With the marathon, specificity is key, so splits are far from irrelevant—I need to be running at least close to actual race pace.  However, if I'm losing 10 seconds per mile due to weather, and I play things on the safe (slow) side in workouts to keep the effort in the right range, the pace is likely still close enough to get the requisite benefit, as long as I'm doing the right type of Specific work.  So even though my A goal and B goal for the Albany Marathon are sub-2:20 (5:20 pace) and a PR (5:27 pace), respectively, it might be wise to treat MP more like 5:30 pace as a general rule this winter.  If conditions are good and I'm feeling good and can do a solid MP workout with 5:20 as MP, great.  But if not, no big deal either.

"One by one they were all becoming shades.  Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age."
—James Joyce, “The Dead,” Dubliners