Monday, September 21, 2009

If I listened to my body...

Its the last two weeks of training before the taper starts (the first week will still be about 40 miles but it'll at least start to descend), and so I'm focused on becoming by best until then. I've scheduled 65 miles this week, with a shorter, 16 mile long run before my last 22-miler on October 3rd.

If I listened to my body, I would lower it to 50 miles max. Its exhausted. The worst thing about morning runs, is there is no rest and recovery, I don't get to sit and eat and relax after my workout. This morning I didnt even have time for a proper breakfast, just my post-run shake (I had oatmeal before the run). I got ready quickly and then had to quickly walk to the metro, about a mile away before I finally got to sit. When trying to take the stairs up the metro my body was finally put up with my torture and was begging me to stop, so I moved over to the right and took the elevator to my floor.

Of course, if I listened to my body, I wouldn't have made it past my first 10-mile run. I am training, not just "working out" and so I'm ready to push myself. I've adjusted my race goal, and now I'm looking at a 3:30 marathon. I know that is a bit ridiculous, but I feel extremely comfortable racing at a 8 min/mi pace. My last long run consisted of 10 miles at 8:20 pace and 10 at 8:00 pace, and I decided to run the 2 miles to Capitol Hill, I did one mile relaxed, and then the last mile or so I ran as fast as I could until I reached the top of the hill. I felt so great afterward. I did a slow jog to my apartment (another mile) and ended up doing the 22 miles in just a minute just over 3 hours.

If I listened to my body, at mile 8 I would have turned around. I wasn't up for a long run Saturday morning, and it ended up being really quite pleasant. I just love going out for 3 hour runs, its not just a workout, its a little journey. I decided to follow the Mt. Vernon trail and turn around halfway through, and go back until the Memorial Bridge; and seeing as it was a new path, it felt like I was on vacation. At one point, I was sure I I had just accidentally relocated to Cape Cod. The path was along the river and the water was lapping under the dock. There were sailboats and I passed two marinas. The sun was shining, but not too hot and there was a slight breeze. The neighborhoods I passed through were lovely, and it was quiet out on the pathway, which sometimes turned into a wooden boardwalk. When I headed back toward the city it was a really nice view with a miniature looking Capitol building. Its nice to have such a great view and know your body had taken you that far.

This morning, the sunrise was absolutely stunning. The sky was orange and the clouds were purple (no lie) and the clouds' shadow on the river made it look purple as well. I really need to start bringing my camera running. This morning, I was freezing when I walked outside, but once I warmed up it was perfect. I was still sweating as I always have, but I didn't need water at all, and I just felt like the air itself was refreshing.

Tomorrow, I am warming up with a jog down to the National Mall, where I'm planning on 4 mile repeats. The perfect stretch is 0.8 mile, but I'm going to have to extend it and run around the Washington Monument. On top of that, I'll jog home, meaning I still need to be up by 5 a.m. I'm shooting for 7-min miles, but I want to get in a few sub-7 min.

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