Fall Training Week of September 29

Week 4 - September 29 - October 5, 32.1 miles

I actually didn't jot a single thing down this week. Everything felt so beyond thrown off as Monday morning started rather early beginning at 4a, due to getting up for an easy run prior to an early morning conference appearance up by O'Hare. Spent the rest of the week waking up at 3:30 or 4a just for funsies, I guess, and morning runs felt stale as a result.

Monday, Wednesday and Thursday were easy efforts of four, 3.5 and four miles, respectively. Thursday was supposed to be a tempo run, but I didn't feel up for it. Foreshadowing?

Tuesday was a nearly three mile warmup prior to 8x400 repeats in the mist on a wet track. Certainly was pretty slick and rather dark.

1:30, 1:30, 1:30, 1:35, 1:32, 1:35, 1:36, 1:29

Wasn't thrilled but wasn't too bent out of shape. But the 2.5+ cool-down back resulted in numerous stops along the way as I couldn't get my shoe tied in a comfortable manner. Like it's too tight around the top of my tendons. Even more foreshadowing?

Friday was a normal day off as Saturday was going to be my long effort at the Moraine Run for the Hills 1/2. But between the immense blob of snow and rain, waking up feeling less than stellar and the notion of driving 100ish miles, it just didn't feel like it was going to be worth the trek. I went back to bed and felt fairly under the weather the remainder of the day.

Eh, another DNS. It was a judgement call I'm happy to have made, this one doesn't bother me much. It's unfortunate more so that I planned out a nice progression pace chart in an effort to start of more conservatively than I normally do and try and hammer out the last five miles.

Decided to head to Waterfall Glen for the first time in awhile for my now long effort on Sunday. Still pretty crowded for 8a, but it wasn't as terribly cold out. Long sleeve over a shirt, odd-length tights, water and gel in hand and off I went.

Let's get this out of the way because apparently in my advancing age, I have lost the abilities learned in childhood, so it would seem. Those massive dips are stops. For the unfamiliar, Waterfall Glen is a giant loop of a bit over nine miles. The last one on the right of the chart is where I turned around to head back to the parking lot after doing a full loop and going a ways out from the starting point. 

The others? Full-on stopping to tie, retie and tie my goddamn shoe. The first one was 17 seconds in, just because I didn't like the way the tongue felt. The next one was because my right lace came undone. Then the left shoe felt too tight. Then the right lace came undone again. 

I was so beyond flustered at the point of the final need to readjust, I upset the tranquil nature of the preserve, unleashing profanity too grand to attempt to type here.  

This couldn't be more true than when I initially thought it last week. SHIBITY. 

Going to get new laces and see if that helps aide in the madness. Anyway, I got lost in my head and couldn't really find a rhythm for the better part of the last half of my effort, which is stupid because that's my favorite part of the loop. The workout was supposed to be 90 minutes with the first 3/4 at a decent clip and the remaining 25% at a pushed effort. I did not come close to such, but I once I hit 1:30, I decided to keep going to get to 12, which meant I went to 13, which would have been what I was intending to do had I gone to the race on Saturday.

1.    8:09
2.    7:49
3.    7:42
4.    7:36
5.    7:28
6.    7:52
7.    7:55
8.    7:39
9.    7:30
10.  7:48
11.  8:01
12.  7:38
13.  7:45
13.1  :52   1:41:50

Unofficially faster than I have ever run before, but no official race has ever been as souring an experience. Didn't feel spent, but wish I could have been a lot more consistent, hills or road crossings aside. Another easy 90 minutes next weekend, and a 1:45 long run two weeks later before the Monumental Half on November 1. Still have time to tinker with my race goal there, but today didn't instill that much confidence in my desired pace as the race draws closer.

Barely ate a full Clif Bar before heading out the door, and my day old coffee was exactly that. Lesson learned: fuel better, velcro laces.

Based on how I felt Saturday, I think there will be a flu shot at some point this week. Week looks pretty calm and cooler, which I am more than alright with; even the weather for the Chicago Marathon is looking promising, unless you aren't a fan of rain.