Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Miles Sweet Miles

warmup miles along Peoria's riverfront
I ran 18 miles on Saturday and then was too exhausted to write about it. Sometimes the recovery part of marathon training is more consuming than the actual running time. I run like crazy... and then kinda float through the rest of the day. My mind is always flying a million miles an hour, but my body can't keep up.

This past weekend's long run was a good one with my friend Anna. She's a bit faster than me, so it's a gentle push - one that I need.  We took a different route than the norm... more hills than I would usually put in an 18 miler. But it was fun to explore and discover a new loop (one that I will surely repeat). Several of the hills were killer and had me sucking air and praying for strength. Thankfully, the pace was more comfortable for Anna... so she carried the conversation and talked me up the hills. She's like my own personal coach - that I don't pay. Score.

Me and Anna - Can you see the hill behind us?
I barely glanced at my pace the whole run - just focused on keeping it at a comfortable pace (For me, that means I can hold a conversation - sans hills). Anna and I split at mile 14, so I really had to dig deep to push myself in the last miles. The RLRF training plan dictated my goal pace at 10:29 for this long run. I was so thrilled when I finished to see I was spot on. 18 miles in 3:08:46 (10:29 pace). Practically impossible to hit on the head, even if I tried. The pace wasn't consistent with the variance of hills, but I'll take the average any day.

Unlike my recent long runs, I was S.O.R.E. the next day. Shoot, by evening I could feel my legs stiffening up. No doubt, hills give me a different kind of workout. I listened to my body scream and gave it an extra rest day (two days off running).

Little Rock Marathon is now just 19 days away. I've started to study the course... and it's definitely not flat. To give Little Rock some extra prep, today I added more hills into my long tempo run. The more I run those monsters, the less they hurt (or the better I get!?). I didn't hit any rocket paces, but I was really happy with my splits and how strong my legs felt storming up the elevation. 8.45 miles in 1:19 (9:22 pace). For the middle four miles, I hit a consistent 8:4X pace... on hills! I was so happy with the results and more importantly, how it felt. This week is my peak before I begin a small taper for Little Rock (March 3). Then I'll pump it back up in prep for Eugene on April 28.

It consumes my mind. It rattles my body. It steals a ton of time... but I LOVE marathon training!!! There is nothing better than feeling yourself getting stronger, week by week.

How's your training going?
Do you seek out hills - or avoid them?
Are you running Little Rock? I'm trying to gather names so we can plan a meetup!

Don't forget...
• To sign up for the 3rd annual Jelly Bean virtual race here.
• To enter the StrideBox giveaway here.


  1. I was super sore after Saturday's run too. Today I finally feel good again but even yesterday was not good. I think it must have been so many miles on the treadmill? I didn't have any soreness after 18 last week, but the 20 this week just about took me out. Last four miles I was crawling too. Quite literally crawling cuz I had to get low so the wind didn't blow me away! :o) Ran a slow 4.5 on SUN then took yesterday off. I have to get back at it tonight.

    You are doing great! Love that we are on the same plan so can kinda relate. :o)

  2. Ahhhhh thanks for the love Jess, should have let me know you were out today, I would have grabbed some miles with you again esp, at the pace you did!

  3. My training has been non-existent since I sprained my ankle. I've been doing the elliptical and spin class to keep my endurance up. Going to try running for the first time in two weeks tomorrow.

    And since I live in flat as a pancake Eastern NC I tend to avoid hills. We only have two places in town for running hills anyway. All my races so far have been flat courses!


  4. Hey - maybe I'll see you in Little Rock! I'm doing the marathon too (walking it more like it) and taking the early start. I'm staying at the Peabody and would LOVE to meet up.
    My training is ho-humm... too many sickness and niggles start-stop. Just want to finish and get that BLING!

  5. Nice job! I have no choice on hills where I live, so I embrace them not always happily! I too ran 18 miles this past weekend :) You should join our Marathon training link up http://runnershoe.blogspot.com/2013/02/marathon-training-week-3.html

  6. Sounds like RLRF agrees with you. Yay! I loathe hills but they're a necessary evil.

  7. I did 20 miles on the course this past Saturday. The hills didn't seem too terribly bad to me, but I've been doing lots of hilly runs lately. I think it will be a great race. Apparently, LR has phenomenal crowd support. I can't wait!

  8. That is a killer pace for a hilly tempo run! And it sounds like you totally rocked your long run, too. I bet you'll be really prepared for your marathon. I'm a sissy so I often try to avoid hills but I do power through them when I encounter them becuase I know hill running is really important.

  9. Wow, you're doing amazing!! I am running my first marathon in May and am in week 7 of my training plan. Right now I am trying to figure out fuel for my long runs and the 26.2....what are you planning on using?

  10. I actually did some hill training last night. I'm just starting to incorporate them into my training program. That is so awesome that you did 18. My longest run has been 7 miles. :)

  11. I did the Little Rock Half Marathon last year, the first half is not too hilly. It does have hills but they are manageable. I heard the 2nd half is tougher though. But you have a great base and kicking butt in training,you will do awesome!!


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