A Solid Training Week (8 more weeks to go!)

This has been a really busy week.  Work was crazy busy but also very productive.  I am pleased to say that my marathon training was equally productive.  Between work, training, and watching the Olympics, there wasn't a whole lot of time left for anything else.  I logged 28.4 running miles this week, including a 5K Race I ran Sunday morning (right after watching the Olympic Men's Marathon).  This brings my total Marathon Training miles to 167.6 miles.  By the end of August, I should reach the 200-mile training milestone (and about 677 total running miles to-date for 2012).

Tuesday, I ran 3x500m intervals, working on my speed.  I haven't been doing these as often as I should have and I made the decision to restore that weekly discipline.  I averaged 9:35/mm run intervals which was good, but not where I want to be.   It is clear that I have to spend some serious time on my speedwork.

On Wednesday, I ran at LifeTime Fitness after work.  I had a massage scheduled at 7PM, so I figured running beforehand would be good.  Well I got to LIfeTime later than expected thanks to the traffic, so I moved my massage to 7:30pm and went to run.  The run felt great!  I had no problem holding a steady 9:57/mm pace.  Unfortunately, I had to stop at 3.4 miles in order to have enough time to shower and get to my massage appointment.  And it was the best massage ever too!

I took Friday off from work because I was taking my son to the Chicago Comic Con.  I had a 5K race scheduled on Sunday (my usual Long Run day) so I had to do the Long Run either Friday or Saturday.  So I decided to take my 15-mile Long Run early Friday morning.  This is the longest distance I will have ever run.  It was a very satisfying run, and gave me more confidence that I will reach the marathon distance goal if I stick to my training plan.  In the end, I ran 15.75 miles in 3 hours (a shorter time than it took me to run 14 miles two weeks ago).  That really made me feel great.  After that run, I spent all day at the Comic Con, walking several miles throughout the Convention center (the perfect recovery event)!

Saucony Kinvara 3 shoes with 4mm heel drop

Saucony Kinvara 3 shoes with 4mm heel drop

For my birthday (on Thursday), I ordered myself a new pair of running shoes, a pair of Saucony Kinvara 3s.  The shoes I have been wearing are wearing out (with 300+ miles on them) and I knew that August would be the month for new shoes so I would have them broken in before the Chicago Marathon.  Well, they arrived on Friday while I was at Comic Con.

So Saturday, when my son and I returned home, I unboxed them and took them on a 'test drive'.  They are very light-weight, minimalist, with only a 4mm heel drop which I prefer.  It was about 78F outside at 2pm but it felt great to be out for a run.  I ran/walked for 2.24 miles (ran 1.63 of them), and the shoes felt very good on my feet.  So I decided I would wear them for my 5K race on Sunday and really see how they would perform.

Sunday started at 5AM when I woke up early to watch the Men's Marathon (and yes, to get ready for my race).  The race was amazing!  I ate my pre-race breakfast, got dressed, and sat to watch the race.  Eventually, I had to leave for my race but thanks to NBC, I was able to listen to the streamed race on my iPad.  The race finished as I pulled into the parking lot for my own race.

With USA Marathoner Meb Keflezighi coming in 4th place, after a strong push to come from 10th place, I was in the mood to run.  My race started with good cool weather, and I was good to go.  The course had a lot of rolling hills but I was determined to make it through.  I finished in 30:07 with an average 9:42/mm pace.  Not a PR performance for me, but I was still very pleased with the effort.  I think if I had been doing more consistent speedwork, I would have done better.  So that is what I am going to do.

And the Kinvara 3s?  They were great!  They felt good on my feet, no pain at all.  I think they are keepers.  I need to pick up a second pair of shoes (so that I have two pairs to switch between).  I haven't decided which to get but am leaning towards the Brooks PureFlow.  Once I have worn both pair through September, I will make the call as to which shoes I will wear for the Chicago Marathon.  This will be a very important decision.

So my week ends with a solid 28 miles of training, and the close of a great Summer Olympics performance by the USA: 46 Gold medals out of a total of 104 medals overall.  I am proud of my country, and I am excited about these next 8 weeks leading up to the Chicago Marathon!

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