I finished week 4 of my 26 week training schedule with a total of 22 miles this week including the 9.5 mile long run. I did have some dark moments in the middle of my long run when I was doubting myself and my ability to be able to really do this. I kept thinking to myself “how can I hope to complete a marathon if running 9 miles is this hard”. But after the fact, and with some perspective I realize that was just fatigue talking. The fact is 4 weeks ago a 5 mile run was out of my reach and now I run that twice a week without even thinking about it. This brings the total to 73 miles run since I started training 4 weeks ago. By my estimate I will run 630 miles before the marathon in April, so I have barely just begin!
9.5 mile long run
Brutal. Ok I just have to say that. It was a deeply unpleasent experience. I left a few minutes before dawn. Conditions were clear and 38 degrees. I knew I was in trouble 2 miles in when I was already feeling tired. I had switched to intervals of run 4 min, walk 1 min since all the recommendations is to walk a min. I hated it. By mile 5 I was pretty miserable and at some point I switched back to my normal 3 min run, 30 second walk. I think for some reason the 1 min walking is too long, very hard to get moving again. I need to do some research to see if 30 seconds will be enough to reduce lactic acid buildup. I think all the miles this week wore me down. I am very glad next week is a cutback week. At mile 8 I was feeling a lot of discomfort in my left foot and shin and my right calf. I stopped and stretched thoroughly for 5 minutes and then continued. That made a huge difference.
My heart rate distribution shows most of the run was spent in the aerobic zone, but roughly 20 percent was in the aerobic threshhold zone, which means I was probably going too fast for part of the long run. Sheesh, the one rule for long runs is “don’t run too fast” and I can’t even get that right!