55 Miles and Beyond

Another two weeks deeper into training. 10-10-10 is fast approaching.   The two books in the picture are my bibles.  Actually, Advanced Marathoning is my bible.    My training program is 18 weeks long.  It is the basis for my plan of attack.   But no battle plan survives intact after the first shots are fired.

Training has gone pretty smoothly all things considered.  Two weeks ago was my peak mileage week of training as I hit 55 miles.  Here’s what a 55 mile week looks like:

Monday:  6m with 6 x 100 strides
Tuesday:  12m with 7m at LT pace
Wednesday:  Rest
Thursday:  12m general aerobic run
Friday:   5m recovery run
Saturday:  20m long run
Sunday:  Rest

During that week I had a 12m run with 7m at a half marathon or 15K pace.   The weather finally cooperated.  Humidity had dropped off and I was able to hold a faster pace longer.   The 7m averaged a 7:13 pace.  If I plug that into the McMillan calculator, I get 3:30:24 for a marathon and a BQ.   But we all know that 7 is light years different from 26.2. 

Last Saturday I had my second 20 miler.    I decided to run in it in the hilliest area near the Chicago suburban flats.   The area is on mostly quiet rural roads among monster mansions and horse farms.   So in addition to getting whaled on by the hills, there is a view to enjoy.    I averaged a 9:00 pace.   A solid long run.  Even though Chicago is flat, it never hurts to run hills to strengthen those muscles while they are tired.  I need every advantage I can find.    

Ironically, the run starts and ends about three blocks from this place.   So I took this picture while sucking back some Lemon Lime Gatorade.   That’s the closest I’ll ever get to being a sponsored endorser!

I tweaked my right calf muscle during the run, which I didn’t even notice until I woke up on Sunday.  So I decided to ACTUALLY listen to my body and cut back a little.   I rested Sunday and Monday and only ran 11m total for the next two days.   I was ready to go on Thursday and decided to run 12m.   Normally the pace of this run should be in the high eights.   But temps had dipped below 70 for the first time in months and the dewpoint was in the low 50’s.   It turned into a marathon pace run.  I was just feeling it.   10m at an 8:00 pace.   The program is working. 

Yesterday was a 17miler.   I was the first car in the forest preserve parking lot at 5:45AM.   It’s a loop I need to run just more than twice.   More success.  It turned out to be 17/5 miles at an overall average of 8:41.   This includes stopping to hydrate.   Mile 16 was busted out at an 8:05 pace.   So I had some left in the tank.   I really tried to slow it down, but I just had so much energy. 

5 more weeks to race week.   Feets don’t fail me now.

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