My training plan for the week was cross-train, run 3, 5, and 3 miles, rest, 6 mile pace run, and 9 mile long run. Stepback week #2. Last week for scheduled 3 mile runs (that I never do anyway ... what is a 3 mile run??) til the week before Chicago.
Sunday - yoga class, plus about 25 minutes walking to and from the gym, plus calf raises.
Monday - 3.8 mile run, plus lunges, abs, and lower back exercises.
Tuesday - 5.7 mile run. Humid and already 75 degrees when I started. I still nailed my usual pace. Did some planks in the evening. Rebel Yell by Billy Idol is my new plank song. Made it 4 minutes 5 seconds. Holy schnikes again.
Wednesday - 3.8 mile run, then upper body exercises and squats at the gym, then 1 mile run-walk home. Switched from an 18 lb. body bar to 2 10 lb. hand weights for the upper body exercises. Kept my usual 12 kg. kettlebells for the squats. The kettlebells hurt my hands and arms a little bit, but I think that's because of increasing the weight for my upper body exercises.
Thursday - Rest day. Extra sleep is gooooooooood.
Friday - Epic 6.2 mile pace run up, down, and around Providence. Perfect weather. Cool, sunny, and low humidity. It is a special treat to get weather like that in July. Went sub-8 on all of my mile splits, including the ones that were mostly uphill. Easily beat my 10K race PR. I am still running too fast (by 15 seconds per mile this time), but it felt ... somewhat but not overly challenging? Maybe I am not running too fast? *confused*
Saturday - 9.5 mile run with running buddies. Good stuff.
Total Miles: Scheduled - 26, Actual - 29
This week has been a big confidence booster, starting with my fantastic long run last weekend. Every run has been somewhere between pretty good and epic since then. I am starting to rethink my marathon goal pace. I am at a point where I could adjust my training to reflect a slightly faster goal pace. My everyday comfortable running pace is within 30-35 seconds of my marathon goal pace, even in less than optimal weather conditions. I don't feel like I am pushing myself too hard. My pace runs have been faster than marathon goal pace without overly taxing me. Plus I run on moderately hilly routes. Chicago will be flat.
On the other hand, a faster marathon goal pace puts me below 8 minute miles. I have come close to sub-8 in a half marathon. However, I have never held that pace for more than 6.2 miles (see Friday above). Sub-8 scares me. Tremendously. Running too fast in training scares me, as does running too fast in a marathon. The marathon where I went out too fast wasn't pretty. I held a low 8 minute pace for the first half, but I crashed and burned at about mile 15. I have no desire to repeat that marathon. I still have 12 weeks to go in my training cycle, so we'll see.
1/3 of the way to Chicago. How did that happen already?!?