Training: Week 16, Going the Distance

If the Runner's World pace calculator is to be believed, I should finish within 4 minutes of my Wildest Dreams Goal Time, and more than 20 minutes faster than my current personal best.

After yesterday’s 10-mile training run, the aches in my feet, ankles, calves, knees and hips suggest that perhaps a career as a distance runner is not for me. I think my body and mind are best suited to distances of 10k or less.

The Plan

  • Monday, 9/6: Beach play and rock climbing with two preschoolers
  • Tuesday, 9/7: Kickboxing and hill sprints with the Team
  • Wednesday, 9/8: Pilates
  • Thursday, 9/9: Kickboxing
  • Friday, 9/10: Mandatory rest
  • Saturday, 9/11: 10-mile run
  • Sunday, 9/12: Family bike ride and mowing a severely overgrown lawn

In my last training post, I was feeling more than a little bit guilty about the fact that I didn’t run at all during a 3-day weekend. I went to our team workout on Tuesday night — the dreaded hill sprints — and when Coach Tim asked who had skipped their weekend workout, I sheepishly raised my hand. “Good for you!” he said, much to my surprise. “Sometimes you just need to give your mind and body a break and just be a normal human being.” Oh. Oh! Great news!

That night, I hit the ground running with the hill sprints, and even managed to keep up with Coach Tim for a little while. Trust me when I tell you that this isn’t easy.

Saturday was our first double-digit run, an out-and-back journey along the Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail that had us going downhill for the first five miles and uphill for the last five; if Map My Run is to be believed, it was a 350-foot elevation climb. This is the exact opposite of the way you’d want to do a long run. Oh sure, it builds stamina, endurance and character, but like most character-building exercises, it sucked.

This run reinforced something that I suspected before: I am not cut out for distances beyond 10k. Sure, I can do 10 miles, and I can even do the 13.1 that a half marathon will require. But there’s a big difference between the 5k-10k level and the half marathon level. When running a 5k-10k race, I finish feeling tired, but it’s a good kind of tired, the kind that comes with the satisfaction of a job well done. When I finish a run of 10 miles or longer, I feel pained, stiff and generally achy for a few days as I wonder why I do this to myself. Dear self: please remember this before you sign up for your next race.

There are two more long runs to go before we start tapering for race day. It’s hard to believe that we’re that close!

The fundraising deadline is September 30. I know that most of my dedicated readers have already contributed (many thanks to all of you!), but if you can spread the word and fundraising link among your friends, I’d very much appreciate it. Thanks!

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