Vegas, Baby. I am almost on my way to Las Vegas to run 26.2 miles in the Las Vegas Marathon. Less than two weeks to go and I am close wrapping up my training for my first marathon. I am going into taper mode by the middle of this week and I will head out to Vegas towards the end of next. I am very excited and the last 2.5 months have been flying by so fast. This blog posting is the re-cap for week 11 of my marathon training.
Week 11 was a busy running week for me. It almost felt like putting the finishing touches on everything. I felt a bit sluggish and fatigued Monday and Tuesday, but felt getting stronger towards the end of the week. This resulted in one of my best runs over the course of the entire training for the marathon. On Thursday I ran 7.51 miles and I broke my personal bests for several distances. The run had started out a bit slow because I felt fatigues initially, but suddenly I felt a burst of energy coming out of nowhere I simply kept on running and became faster and faster. At the end I had an average pace of 8.46 minutes per mile. I felt fantastic.
Week 11 had not started that nicely from a weather perspective. Monday and Tuesday were cloudy and cold. On Tuesday I even got soaking wet because it started raining during my run. But since I am not made from sugar, I pushed through and it was a good run. I felt cold towards the end because I got stuck waiting at a traffic light with no other option to go. Standing in the wind and rain for 3-4 minutes at a busy intersection is no fun. Fortunately it was just about 1 mile away from home. Wednesday was dry, but a bit windy and I kept things on the easier side. It was a normal run – nothing special to report. It warmed up towards the weekend and on my long run on Saturday I was back running in shorts and T-Shirt. That day it was almost 70 degrees when I came back – one of those things of living in Colorado. We have lots of sunshine and even in November days can be quite warm.
Here is the chart of my running and my Kosama workouts this week. I ran six times for over 50 miles. That is the 3rd time during my training that I was able to get into the low 50s with mileage. Technically it does sound I am not running that much – most people recommend to put in 60 to 80 miles per week, but on the other side I am also doing the Kosama workouts (Kosama = similar to Cross Fit / just better than Cross Fit). I worked out at Kosama five times this week and really enjoyed it week because for whatever reason it was perfect cross-training and strength training. If you would remove Kosama and replace it with running and my average mileage for a sixty minute workout I would have somewhere in the 80-90 mile range. That is just crazy if you really think about it. I know it is not a 1:1 match, but the cross-training effect is perfect in my opinion. Especially getting a really strong core and back is a superb benefit for running. Doing 2 workouts per day is quite taxing and this week was no difference. I get up 4.10 AM every weekday and work out from 5 AM to 6 AM before going to work. When I come home at around 3.45 PM I head out for my daily run, so I need to make sure that my diet and my recovery between those individual workouts is appropriate.
My black Nike Pegasus 29 are showing signs of giving up – at least on the long runs. They will still be good for shorter runs and for my Kosama workouts, but next Saturday I will wear my new pair of Nike Pegasus shoes on my last (medium) long run. It’s taper time, so I will not run 20+ miles again. I will probably settle for 14 miles or so. That pair will also be the one I am going to use during my marathon. I will break them in this and next week by slowly mixing them into my runs, but I will make sure they will not have more than 40-50 miles on them when I hit the start line in Las Vegas. Just need to make sure they are broken in properly so that I do not get blisters or other injuries when running 26.2 miles. After I am done with the marathon I might try some other shoes, but for now I am sticking to what I know best and where I know it works. Rule of thumb says not to change anything for race and I will follow it to the dot.
This week my average pace per mile improved dramatically. Last week Saturday I was already able to make a significant step forward and this last Saturday I was able to shave even more time off my average pace. I am at a point where it is worth thinking about trying to run this marathon “thing” in 4 hours or less. I am just a few seconds off per mile with my average pace and considering that come from high altitude and will be much more rested for the race and that I run lots of nasty hills during my training runs makes me think I can do this. I have a lot of thinking to do about this. I would love to go under 4 hours (even by just one second) on my very first marathon, but I also want to avoid hitting the infamous wall at the same time.