Sunday morning I set my alarm early - 6:45 - to get up and run with my running group. I haven't been going on Sunday mornings with any regularity because I like to sleep in too much. Although I had some extra motivation - 16 miles worth of it that I didn't want to do on my own or later in the day.
I love sleep, especially on the weekends. I don't like getting up in the mornings. Also, it takes 30 minutes to get to where my running group meets. All of those things complied together have led to me only running with the group 2 times since the Chicago Marathon. But, with the distance of my long runs increasing, I know that it would be best for me to run with the group. Plus, I like most of the people. Who doesn't want to see their friends at 8 AM?
Sunday I got out of bed, had some breakfast, and then went running. There was only one other person running any sort of long distance yesterday, and she happened to be going 16 as well. We went slower than I would have liked, but I am fine with the end result (16 miles averaging 9:07 pace). It ended up being an progression run - with the second 8 miles being faster than the first. However, the whole run just wasn't that great. I wasn't feeling it - and 9:07s felt like 8:07s. If you look at my runs from Friday and Saturday, I'm sure you'd understand. Tempo two days in a row? Not the best move.
Last year, if I would have averaged 9:07 for a 16 mile run I would have thought it was a complete failure of a run. This year, I am (slowly) learning to embrace slower long runs. I have a half marathon next weekend that I plan on racing and I want to be prepared - not only mentally, but also physically. I don't want my body to be recovering for an extra hard 16-miler when I have other gaols to accomplish.
Week 5 of training for the Illinois Marathon has come to a close. The weeks are flying by too quickly. I'm hoping to get back on track this week and not miss any runs.
Week 6 is a cut-back week, and I am running a half marathon in Chicago (Chicago Polar Dash). More on this later in the week, but, needless to say, I'm excited. I'm hoping the weather stays as nice as it has been for Saturday's race.
Are you running the Polar Dash? Would you run a race outside in January? Or, are you smarter than that?