Almost halfway there! Also, I’ve made another change as far as my goal paces. I’m aiming for the 3:40 pace goals on tempo and speed runs and the 3:45 goal on my long runs. I suck at pacing myself on short runs but have almost the opposite problem on long ones – I want to go slower so I don’t spend the last several miles in pain and cursing. I am, admittedly,  a little afraid to push too much on those ones.

Monday – cross training. Ride 13 miles. After spending an arm, leg and ankle on the dogs’ vet checkups and meds, I decided to take advantage of the warm (ugh where is FALL!?) weather and go for a bike ride. I’m definitely riding smarter and faster than I was this time last year, and although I’m enjoying the riding off season I’m definitely interested to see how much more improvement I can make next year. One season at a time.

Tuesday – tempo run. 2 easy/3@ 7:35/1 easy. I hemmed and hawed over a run in the rain vs. a run on satan’s sidewalk. In the end, the sidewalk won since I had just run in the rain the previous week and had felt like it was harder to keep pace while watching for traffic and wiping water out of my eyes. I cranked the A/C up on the third floor and turned my music on. I suppose the good thing about treadmills is it forces you to keep a steady pace, and so steady I was. Warm up and cool down miles @ 9:31 and my three tempo @ 7:35. I discovered something  is wrong with with the A/C up there though because when I started the run it was 71 degrees, when I finished it was 84. Even in a room with air conditioning I can’t get away from the heat. Ugh.

Wednesday – speed work. 6×800 @ 3:23 with 1:30 rest in between each interval. I forgot to double check the pace goal and so ended up slow on a few because I thought I was aiming for closer to 6:50 and in reality needed more like 6:45. It was humid (shock) too so that didn’t help. Times: 3:28 (oops), 3:23, 3:24, 3:26, 3:25, 3:23. Our fearless leader was nowhere to be seen so I was in charge of the selfie picture. Except I suck it and it kept cutting off either the groups’ heads or my own. In the end, someone took the phone from me and took it. Smart. And I accidentally deleted the other ones so I can’t even properly make fun of myself.

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Thursday – cross train. Swim 1200m. Since I didn’t make it to the pool Monday I took the trip there and did a straight 1200. My time was ok. Nothing exiting to report there.

Friday – rest day

Saturday – long run. 18 miles @ 9:05 pace. The majority of my long runs for previous marathons were closer to the 9:30’s and even though I knew that pace was doable I was still nervous, mostly because my 16 miler (at 9:23) a few weeks before had felt so difficult. Last weeks’ 20 miler (at 9:21) felt much better but it was still a solid 16 seconds slower per mile.

We ended up with a larger group than I expected, though only 3 of us did the full 18. The rest ran 12. Still, it was awesome company and with people who at least tolerate my obsessiveness about my pace goal without much complaint. The first mile was slower but that’s expected for a warm up mile and the rest were actually pretty consistent. We even managed a negative split, finished the last mile at an 8:51 and my legs weren’t dying, so I feel much more encouraged and confident about the goal paces from here on out. The goal pace for my final 20 makes me nervous but trying not to get ahead of myself.

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Sunday – “active rest day”. Bryan’s mom and brother came in town for about 24 hours to visit. She and I took the twins for about a mile walk and then I pushed them a slow mile and a quarter (9:59 average) to warm up my muscles. After that I did my 30 minute yoga for runners routine on You Tube.

Don’t forget that I am dedicating this marathon not only for my I run 4 buddy but to help start a Girls with Sole chapter in Charleston. Please consider making a donation to help our at risk girls. You can donate here.

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