Marathon Training Week 6: The Old Lady Still Has It

Weekly Summary 1/19-1/25/15

Week 6 was a recovery week for me. I tend to go hard and increase mileage and/or intensity for about three weeks and then drop back a little to stabilize and recover. This was the first week that I didn’t feel slow and heavy, and like I’m just logging miles fruitlessly in the faraway hopes of getting back into race shape. I actually felt stronger and like I’m finally In Training.

My knees are pain-free, and the only place of concern is a slight tightness in my right calf. It’s not even enough to diagnose as a level 1 strain. Truthfully, I may only notice it because I’m hyper aware of that area as it’s been a problem spot in the past. I’ve been treating it with the regular protocol: ice, ibuprofen, compression socks, massage, sticking, and stretching. Cross fingers, it’s been perfectly manageable so far.

I also had my first long run that incorporated mileage at marathon pace. My goal marathon pace is a 9:55 mile, and I was able to run the MP mile in 9:33 during my long run. This shows me not so much that I’m faster than I think, only that I need to get a better feel for 9:55 so I don’t go out too fast and burn out in the race. I’m sure I don’t have to put too much effort into this as it will naturally slow down once I start adding more MP miles, but this was a great confidence builder. (Of course, my head immediately went to “How in the hell am I going to do this for 26.2 miles?!?”)

My special treat for the week was finally getting back up on the trails this weekend to do my recovery run. It was gorgeous. LA was really pretty on Sunday, and the wind had blown out the bad air. Here’s a view from up on Mulholland, about 15 min. from my home. It overlooks the San Fernando Valley.

trail

The only other thing of note this week was that I got hit on at the running path! That’s right, readers, I may be staring down the barrel of 48, but the old broad still has it. I was on my regular Tuesday morning run, and saw an oncoming runner. I have by now worked out how to handle this *moment*. You know what I mean. Do I look down, nod, say hi, smile, thumbs up? Argh. I’ve been the recipient of being blown off completely, so I do like to acknowledge in some way “Hey, I see you, fellow tribesman.” (I totally blow off the walkers, bikers, and roller bladers.) My greeting of choice is to not make eye contact but to curl my lips in a slight smile. I think it’s friendly but doesn’t encourage any further communication. Anyway, I do this indirect smile at the oncoming runner, but this person stops me, and within one minute, I’ve set up a date to run the next morning with a complete stranger. Oh, yeah, I can’t keep them off of me. Never mind that the person was a fellow middle-aged Filipina. There was nonetheless something about me that she found irresistible.

So, I have to say, I was a little wierded out at first. There is certainly a shorthand with runners in that I actually would — and have — met virtual strangers to go on a run, but it hasn’t happened in a long time. So of course I was worried. What would we talk about, what if she goes too fast, how can I get out of doing this ever again, what if she’s a psycho killer, blah blah blah. Anyway, I chose to wear my new pink beanie for the occasion.

Pink

I wanted to get out of it five minutes after I made the date, but didn’t have her number, so I was forced to show up at 6:30 a.m. Well, surprise, I enjoyed it. (She is the S. who gave me nutrition advice in my previous post.) In fact, I’ll be the one texting her tomorrow to see if she wants to meet up for a four-mile run on Wednesday.

When I made my resolution to run with other people, I figured it would be people I already knew. Guess when you put it out in the universe, anything can happen.

Total weekly mileage: 34
Long run: 14 miles; 1 mile at MP
Cross-training:
Abs (5x – wow!); Upper Body (1x); Leg Strengthening (25 min. – fail) Push-Ups: 150

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