I’ve been pretty lucky this summer with weather. I think this is the first weekend that has made for difficult training.
Today’s workout was brutal. 20 miles with 10 at marathon pace. The first 10 were great – 7:45-8:00 pace is nice!!. I picked up Lis, one of the skiers that was having boot trouble so she switched into running shoes. We ran the next 3 miles together easy. Actually the first two were easy. The next mile was up the coolie hill, which is pretty challenging. My HR at the top was 190, with the last mile run in 8:32. Hmmm… probably should have gone slower uphill since I had to start my marathon pace miles at the top of that hill.
And we’re off for the second 10 miles. I can tell from the start that this isn’t going to be easy. Lis runs three miles with me and turns back for home (lucky!!). I continue on, chasing the skiers. I’m so grateful to be able to run alongside them. Today they were ahead of me more than usual (were they going faster or was I going slower?), but in general when I have something long and sustained to do, they’re the best training partners :). At 6 miles, I’m starting to hurt. I’m dehydrated (should have run with water. Dave scolded me at the beginning of the run and he was right). Luckily Nate skis back to me every couple miles or so and gives me some of his. I’m really fortunate!! At 7.5 miles I stop and walk up one of the steep hills in Afton. My legs are shot. And mentally, I let myself go for a second. Looking back, I always beat myself up over these “weak” moments. At 8.25 miles, Nate skis back to me with a filled water bottle (with water now, not Gatorade). Hallelujah! I dump some over my head for the first time during the run. What a difference that makes.
Turns out, the Diggins have a pit stop set up for their high school ski team. All of the skiers (including me) stop to grab a drink and some fruit/nuts/etc. I can’t tell you how HAPPY I was to see this. I may have been a little delusional at this point, I’m not sure. I don’t think most people are as happy to see things like this as I was. I told Deb she should start a collection – I’d definitely donate. I’m sure the other skiers would as well.
Now I have 1.25 miles to go. I get my “game face” on and am determined to make these last minutes on foot really count. So, I take off again and basically push myself all out to the end. My last mile was ½ mile downhill (averaging 6:24) and ½ mile on flats (averaging 6:10).
So, workout done. Not great, but at least it’s done. I’m trying to tell myself that I can’t expect to feel great on days like this (given the high mileage week, the weather, etc), but inside I really wish I could have nailed this workout. It would have been a really good confidence booster. Guess there’s always a second chance… next long run w/ marathon pace = 3 weeks away :).