Last Saturday I ran a 24 mile run and knocked it out of the park. I ran about 24.2 miles in 2:45 and ran 7 miles at about a 5:57 pace for part of the run and I ended up at 75 miles for the week. It was my last chance to get a very long run in before the marathon and I wanted a good one for a confidence booster if nothing else. One of the best parts about the run is that my legs felt strong the entire time. I wasn't in pain or agony and my hamstrings which have given me fits in years past felt great. I feel like I'm going into the marathon with strong legs for the first time so who knows how fast I can run. In the past I would usually cramp up pretty bad and end up sitting on the couch most of the day moaning about how much my legs hurt. I don't think I'd ever run this long and had my legs feel this good afterwards. I got a massage Saturday evening which helped with the recovery and I soaked in an epsom salt and apple cider vinegar bath for a while. One of the massage therapists I had seen in the past had told me about the benefits of it and how it helps the healing process and pulls toxins out of the body. I googled it to see if there was any truth to it and it seems like there is and I really felt good on Sunday.
The day after my 24 miler I ran 8.25 miles and averaged about 7:15 pace and finished up the run with a couple 7:00 miles. Usually after a long run, I would slog through 4 or 5 miles at a 7:45 - 8:00 pace but I really felt good which was encouraging. I tried to do an easier speed workout on Monday and I planned to run 5 x 3/4 mile @ 5:50/mile pace and then jog a 1/4 mile between but after 2 sets my legs told me I didn't need to be doing a speed workout so I jogged the rest of the run spent some extra time stretching and working on my conditioning exercises.
Because of the cold weather Wednesday, I postponed my hard workout until Thursday evening. My plan was to run 3 x 5k with 5 minutes rest with the first at ~6:10 pace, the 2nd at 5:55 pace and the third at 5:40 pace. I did the workout on a treadmill and I made it through the first 2 on pace before cutting it short. My calf was starting to tighten up on me - probably from running a little differently on the treadmills vs. outside - and I was bored out of my mind running on the treadmill so I cooled down and called it a day. I ran a relatively easy 8 miles friday afternoon and then had to drag myself out of bed this morning for a terrible run.
I was exhausted this morning and Olivia woke up 3 times last night - once for her feeding and two other times she just woke up and needed to be rocked back to sleep. If this weren't the last long run I was doing before the marathon, I would have turned the alarm off and slept in. I was dragging this morning and really struggled to stay with the group and I kept falling back 10 or 15 seconds and then I'd catch back up at the water stops. I probably only averaged about 7:30 pace for the day and I just couldn't go any faster. I'm not sure if the Thursday evening workout and Friday afternoon run just left me worn out or what happened. I didn't eat as much yesterday as I usually do and I didn't eat anything before the run so maybe I was just low on energy. I'm not overly concerned about it and I'll just put it behind me and try to get in one more good week of training this week.
I'm toying with running the Rockets 5K next weekend but not sure about it. I ran a 4 mile race and won it a couple weeks before Boston in 2009 and ran what was probably my best marathon. We'll see how I'm feeling and I'll ask Sean what he thinks. I'm guessing he'll tell me I'm an idiot to run it a week before the marathon but we'll see.