Training, December 26 - January 1

Monday: AM - 15 miles moderate-plus

On hilly single track from Bullfrog Lake (near Willow Springs and Palos). Quality aerobic effort, pushed the pace in the second half to maybe 90% MP effort, give or take. I wish I could train on these trails every day. The 7 or 8 miles of single track are incredible for the area.

Tuesday: PM - 10 miles moderate-plus; GS1

Originally had some Aussie Quarters scheduled this week, but with last weekend's medium-long run getting pushed to yesterday, something needed to get cut or scaled back. I contemplated doing a light Aussie-style 200s session tonight, but went with another quality aerobic day instead. Squeezed it down from about 6:30s to 5:40s over the course of the first 5 miles and then kept it right in that 95% MP range.

Wednesday: AM - 4 miles easy
PM - 8 miles easy "trail run" (i.e. mostly on grass, roots, mud, etc.) - No GS, too tired

Thursday: PM - 3 mile warmup, 4 x mile at AnT pace w/ 1:00 active recovery - 5:15, (1:00), 5:14, (1:00), 5:14, (:59), 5:07 - 3 mile cooldown (10 miles total)

Planned on 6+ reps, but had to stop to find a restroom (which took a while as the city basically shuts everything down in October—who would need a restroom after the marathon anyway?). Felt pretty decent, a little sluggish, but definitely could have kept it going for several more reps, so it was too bad my stomach was giving me issues.

Friday: AM - 4 miles easy; GS2
PM - 8 miles easy with Jim O'Brien, nice to run with someone

Saturday: PM - 2 mile warmup, light drills, then mile repeats at MP w/ half mile recovery ~20s/mile slower - 5:24, (2:50), 5:24, (2:50), 5:15, (2:49), 5:29, (2:53), 5:29, (2:53), 5:40, (3:02), 5:14 - 55:17 for 10 miles (5:31 pace) (7 reps) - 3 mile cooldown (15 miles total)

Felt a little sluggish starting out, but then really started to feel pretty comfortable, easily recovering at 5:40 pace, and feeling like I could probably get 8-10 reps in. This was before I turned into the wind for the third through sixth reps. Same story, different day. Tried to stay as relaxed as I could into a stiff headwind while not totally sacrificing the pace, but the longer I ran into the wind without a break, the more it took out of me. That 5:40 sixth rep was significantly harder than the 5:14 I ran for the seventh, after I had turned around. But by that point, I was pretty toast from fighting the wind for 4.5 miles. Perhaps I should have just gone back and forth, so that every other rep I was getting some respite.

Sunday: PM - 6 miles easy; GS (combined/altered routine as I was back home in Springfield and didn’t have my Swiss ball or med ball)

Summary: 80 miles, 3x GS

Fairly happy with the week. Got the mileage up a bit and also had some quality aerobic work on Monday and Tuesday. I’m often lacking this type of work, as with my workout schedule and life schedule, I usually have to take days between workouts easy in order to properly recover. When you’re strong enough, running enough mileage, and can sleep and recover more, you can more easily make some of the runs between workouts a decent aerobic effort. That’s not me right now. To be honest, in retrospect, I probably should have focused more on basic aerobic development of this kind (as well as muscular development) in the several months after my last marathon. In any event, some good work at different paces this week, and I’m fairly encouraged by the fact that 5:40 pace is starting to feel pretty easy.

“Bowerman (without ever pronouncing the word pain) taught that you redefine yourself a little with every honest, killing effort. You might not win, but you will have been brave.  If you can admit that to yourself, bravery is a hell of a thing to build on.”
Kenny Moore, The Men of Oregon