I've been slacking lately onmy marathon training. My running sort of fell off due to my increased saddle time and then two weekends in a row being out of town took away my planned long "make up" runs. This week I really realized what was happening and so I get my butt back in gear and hit the streets a few times. Tuesday running in to work was a bit rough; I enjoyed the run but my it was obvious that my body had lost a bit of my previously built up training. I really enjoyed running though somewhat early in the day; the roads are less packed, the sun is just coming up and the handful of runners that are out then almost always give a wave and say hello as they pass.
Wednesday and Thursday I was feeling Tuesday's run, though that probably had more to do with the fact that I just didn't stretch out enough afterwards. I forced myself to brave the 30 + mile an hour winds during lunch including about an 11 degree windchill and got a nice 45 minute run in around the monuments and everything downtown. This time I put quite a bit more effort into my stretching and felt pretty good the next day. This morning when I woke up I was feeling great (besides the hangover after Mandie's birthday party last night at which I drank way too much heavy beer). Drove out to Fairfax in a Flexcar to pick up a trainer that Scott offered to loan to me and came home rearranged my bedroom a little to make some room for it and set it up.
I wanted to hop on and try an easy hour or something but today was way to nice and it was also being devoted to a long run. My schedule says 12 miles for today so I decided to head out and do something around there but really was thinking I'd do a few more miles then that. The run started off pretty badly as within the first 10 or 15 minutes I was getting terrible shin splints and just felt like overall hell (once again thanks to those damn but oh so tasty beers last night). Soon after I began to really question whether I was going to be able to do the run then my legs loosened up and the only bad left was the feeling and churning in my gut, so I ran on. I took my much loved route up Connecticut Ave, down through the Zoo and then out to Beach drive which I followed for about six or so miles.
The weather was pretty much perfect despite the cold air and the roads showed the expected number of cyclists and runners in the closed off park. Some folks waved as we passed, others said hello and those individuals who would prefer to remain secluded from all of society simply made every effort to avoid eye contact and went on their way. I never really understand this mentality by people, I mean I'm not even just talking about pretty girls that are afraid of getting hit on, it's all kinds of people that choose to "interact" in this way. But whatever, that is their perogative.
Anyway, I finished up my run at almost exactly two hours and completed something right around 13 miles though I definitely felt I could have run longer today. I came home and got in a good stretch and though the legs are a little tired they feel great. My pace was extremely slow today, especially the first few miles which felt like I was crawling along, but the good news is that I was picking up my speed pretty much the entire. For the last two or so miles I managed to speed up even more which felt great as it kind of opened up the legs a bit and really got the blood pumping. My heart rate stayed right around 160 or so for the majority of the run until this last couple where I had it running around 180 which really felt great.
This week I'll hopefully get out for three shorter runs during the week and then next weekend should be around 17 or 18 miles. then I think the following weekend is my pre-race peek milage at 20 before tapering down for the race. Can't wait, it's finally getting down to crunch time and the moment of truth for this. Now if I could just figure out the correct balance between my running and biking...