KDF Marathon Training Week 11 (7 weeks to go)

Monday - Recovery 5 (following Sunday's long run), 9:34 pace

Tuesday - Rest, foiled attempt to go riding

I planned to go riding on Tuesday, but when I got to the farm, the barn manager was welding something on a tractor in the shed by the field where Hudson lives. It was a little challenging to get him in from the field, but I assumed that once we got back to the barn he'd be fine. Wrong! He worked himself up even more once he was inside in crossties and nothing I did (being nonchalant, talking to him, offering him a treat as a distraction, closing the barn door, moving him to a stall farther down the aisle, letting him touch noses with other horse friends) calmed him down. He was worried for his buddy, who was still out there. The only thing to do was accept that it would be madness to try to ride him, and to figure out the safest way to get him back outside. 

Wednesday - Rest

I meant to go for a run, but I had rough day at work. Sometimes those make the best days for a hard run, but I just wanted to talk it out over drinks instead.

Thursday - Easy 7 (9:15 pace)

Friday - Easy 6 (8:56 pace)

Some more easy miles before leaving for a women's retreat at Emerald Isle, NC.

Saturday - Long run - 18 miles (9:13 pace)

I did the first five miles with a friend and after I'd dropped her off back at the house, I had "only" 13 miles to go.

Since I was in a strange place, I stuck to a main road that wasn't especially scenic, but the weather was gorgeous. I've run in shorts almost all winter long and I'm so grateful I get to train in these conditions.

 I wasn't looking at my watch, so these splits were a total surprise. But I can see that I was getting pretty tired by mile 14. Last cycle, I did my 18-miler (which came about two weeks later in training than this one) in a 9:20 average pace. I'm hoping this is signalling that I'm in better shape and can expect a PR -- but it might also be that I was well-rested and hadn't done any hard workouts this week.

I took three gels and that felt like enough.

Sunday - Recovery 4

When I woke up I was feeling pretty stiff and creaky, but after a long morning walk on the beach I felt much better. When I got home I took Tilly out for a short run and ended feeling better than I did when I started. Recovery run success!

Total: 41 miles

I'm really happy with this solid week of running. I have a weird thing about 40+ mile weeks (I know it's dumb, but they always make me feel like I'm "really" training.)

Despite the years I spent living by the water, I never really went to the beach in the winter. The beach in February is almost a completely different place: moody and empty. I was really feeling it. On Sunday morning, I saw a pod of five dolphins swimming parallel to the shore, and watched them until they turned into tiny specks and disappeared.