Fall Weather!

Today’s workout was heaven.

I can’t help but contrast it to the last time we did descending mile repeats. On August 30, I had 3 x 1 mile over at Zilker; I was supposed to get faster, but instead I got slower (9:17, 9:18, 9:35). Coach Gilbert Tuhabonye gave me a little talking to (“you’re going the wrong way! You need to go faster, not slower!” Really? Yeah, I KNOW — I just failed to execute.) I think I had to walk most of the way back from the park, I was so hot and tired. It was miserable.

Pacing for Mile Repeats

This morning was cool and wonderful.

We jogged over to Zilker. Gilbert put us in pace groups and told the group I was with to start out at 10:00 and decrease each mile by 15 seconds. We were to do four repeats.

I found myself ‘way behind the group on the first one but it felt too fast…and sure enough, I came in at 9:26. Oops. So we agreed to back off and try to hit the next one as we should. Again, I was last, but I was still fast at 9:40; I kept thinking that if I were going to run :45 seconds faster at the end, I needed to watch how fast I started out because to me, the proper progression was more important than the actual pace. Also, we were alternating the direction of the loops each time; I find going down the bigger hill and up the short steep hill easier than the other way around, and I was going to have to run my fastest on the hardest direction for me. I also made a point to only take the 2:00 rests that were given, so I ran by myself after the first repeat.

Third — 9:14, so I was still descending, right on the money…though still fast, as I should’ve been at 9:30.

Last one; I really wanted to come in under 9:00 but it was the hard way and I hit 9:04. The best thing, though, was having Gilbert tell me that I ran well. “See?”  he said, “it’s coming back!”

Karen, Delia, and I cooled down together and it turns out that Delia and I know a bunch of the same people; she ran with a small group that Popcorn Leonard coached when I was running with Andreas. I think she and I will be very similarly paced; we’re both “coming back” and, while she was faster than me “back in the day,” I am faster right now. Karen is faster than both of us and it is fun to chase her. I love the M/W workouts!

The Week’s Workouts

I spent the weekend in Nacogdoches with my little girl and it was lovely. Because of the late night schedule and my desire to sleep in, I didn’t get a chance to run while there, which was disappointing; I love the Lanana Creek trail.

I’d done my long run on Friday by myself, and it wasn’t good or pretty. I parked my car at the ballfield on Great Northern and had intended to do 14 miles, eight at marathon goal pace (MGP). I wound up doing seven at MGP and then fading like a big dog, quitting after 10.5 (or three loops). I was just not there, mentally especially, and the weather was horribly humid. In fact, I laughed bitterly because a lovely rain started to fall…as I got in my car to leave. I was on a time schedule to get to Nac, and while I briefly debated heading back out for the final loop and doing it no matter how slowly, I needed to get home and get packed and get out.

So I quit.

My previous weekend’s long run had gone really well. I used my new nutrition for the first half; I was running with a young lady who was visiting from Houston and putting in a long run as she got ready for IM Florida, I think. We were well paced and I was running better than usual. She and I stayed together until about mile 18. She headed straight back and I had about four more to do, as this was the big daddy, the 22-mile peak run. I found I petered out in the last hour, especially with no company and going back to my non-liquid food. I was on pace to make it back for the Gazelle family picture but slowed so dramatically that I missed it. I had horrible calf cramps when I hit the trail and actually wound up mostly trying to walk them off for those final two miles.

In the annex, Gilbert spent time with me and Lindsey showing us some massage techniques to help with my calf cramps and her IT band issues. And then he worked on my ankles…acck!! I don’t have the flexibility I should in my feet and he worked on that, which was to some extend not really pleasant. But man, I could tell a difference afterwards!

Final Marathon Prep

Our marathon, the Nike Women’s Marathon, is October 17, so we are in the final weeks. We have a 10–14 miler this weekend, with six at MGP, 5–10 the following weekend, and then we’re racing! This will be a fun trip and, hopefully, a new road marathon base from which to work improvements.

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I’m a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I’ve come to learn it. In addition to my blog “Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life” at www.leahruns100.com, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

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