There are going to be two new blogs, one about running, and one about the cats! This is about running....
The Lincoln Marathon is quickly closing in. Almost two weeks ago, I had my 2nd 20 mile long run. I ran it outside on my hilly course so I could get my leg muscles used to doing hills again. I knew it would be a good workout. I guess I underestimated how your body gets used to running without hills as it had been since November when I had been out on my normal course. The gym and treadmill are obviously flat. I was supposed to run this 20 miler in about 9.5 minutes per mile and I just couldn't keep that pace. I totally blame the hills, but as I'm learning, it's a lot about what you put in the tank that keeps you going! I wasn't worried about it because it sure was a good workout and my legs are getting their "hill" memory back!
I have had a problem with my attitude in the past few weeks too. I would say that in running, whether it be speed or distance, a large portion of it is mental. You can't have a good race if you're not mentally fit or physically fit. Let's say that I was pretty burned out last week, so I used the excuse of going out of town to take a few days off! The week was pretty slow as far as running was concerned so I felt it really wouldn't effect my total marathon preparedness. I also decided to run the Spring Thaw 10 mile race this past Saturday, and it just didn't go well. I would say that I was mentally there until my gas tank went on "E" after about mile 3. I knew I was in trouble but felt ok so kept going. I was going at about 8 minute miles or slightly less on average since the first mile was 7.5 min mile pace. After mile 5, I had to actually stop since it felt like someone was stabbing my gut with a very sharp knife. I had not eaten enough the night before (sorry portobello, you're not cutting the mustard as a pre-race dinner) and the morning of. I didn't think it would be a big deal...boy, was I wrong! And by the way, stir fry isn't a good choice either unless at least half is noodles or rice. Yup, learned the hard way on that one too. I was hoping to run the 10 miles in just over 80 minutes but I trucked in at just under 90 minutes. Not shabby at all, although there were SO MANY fast runners out that day! Wow! I gotta hand it to the one who ran at 6-7 min mile pace. I saw her pass when I wasn't even at mile 6...way to go and I wish I could run like that! I was just so upset that day because I knew what I COULD do, which was a lot better than what I actually did do. I even cried.
I am a very competitive person, so I decided on Monday afternoon that I couldn't let a bad run spoil the marathon prep. Tuesday's running schedule had a 10 miler on it, but there was rain in the forecast, so I ran my 10 miler Monday outside on the hills and lo and behold, ran it in less than 9 minute mile. I was so happy and came in to tell my hubby "THAT's how a 10 mile run should go!". The past two days have been 4 and 5 miles on the treadmill and tomorrow starts back with the speedwork that I haven't done in two weeks. I will go to the track so I can get accurate distance times. They're sort of fun when it's light out....run 800 meters at 3.5 minutes, then walk 200 meters. Yes, I said fun. Then Friday will be a 10 mile run at race pace so I will do that at the track too to get accurate mile splits. Saturday is my last 20 mile prep run before the marathon. Nerves are starting.
I'm working on my iPod playlist for the marathon too. I get in such a grumpy mood when it comes to music so I'm shortening my normal running playlist and repeating several of my kick butt songs. I got a good one from a commercial and some from the Genius thing on iTunes. I'll report back after Saturday's run.....just no injuries is all I can really ask for!