67 miles (down week)
15 mile hard tempo workout
TC 10 mile, 1:02.40
1 day off (YEAH!)
I purposefully had a down week this week to accommodate the 10 mile. Last week had been such a great training week that I thought big things might be in store.
I started in the US championship wave for the first time, which was really fun. You were supposed to have a PR of 58 minutes or less to qualify – apparently they thought my marathon time equated to that (perhaps it does?). I was excited to be able to race alongside some really fast women. But my legs had other plans. The race was torturous – my legs wouldn’t move! My legs were heavy & it felt weird to try to get them to move. Ug. At mile 3, I knew there was no hope. I stayed positive throughout (nothing I can do now except try to push as hard as I can & enjoy the day), but it was a little tough… I was fighting to last place in my wave L. At mile 7, I thought to myself that I wasn’t hardly using my lungs. You have to be able to get your legs to move faster than this, Nichole – you have to at least TRY to tax your lungs! But, I couldn’t. I seriously could not turn my legs over any faster or drive forward with any power.
Pictures of the race show just look odd – I’m sort of driving with my knees, but it’s an awkward angle (something only I pick out, probably), not efficient & not a natural gait at all. So I’m not kidding when I say my legs just weren’t working properly.
I reflected on the race afterwards and came to some good conclusions:
Even though this week was a “down” week, it takes me much longer to feel recovered than it used to. I usually don’t feel a down week until a week and a half later. If I’m really going to “taper” for something, I think it needs to start the week before the race.
This down week had one day off and one day of 5 miles – meaning that the other 62 miles were in 5 days, without a long run – that’s still a bit.
Last, Wednesday’s run of 14.5 miles had 45 minutes of tempo in it, and I completely drained myself during the workout (I struggled to maintain 6:30s at the end of the last 10 minute session… completely dehydrated & legs not working). To set myself up for a weekend race, I should probably have done some short speed or a shorter, quicker tempo run. Not something that made me feel completely drained & sick afterwards.
So, ug. Guess you just chalk it up to experience & move on!!