Monday: I was up in the Berkshires in Connecticut. I pumped out a 5 mile run at about a 9:15 pace. At first glance that sounds "eh." But consider the elevation? Almost 1300 ft. Decent run.
Tuesday: My friend AU wanted to do a tempo run and asked if I wanted to join. I figured why not? I had taken the day off from work and it always feels good to get a quality run in. Result? 10.5 miles at an 8:20 clip. Including hills up by morningside park. Sweet.
Wednesday: Nike speed with 5 x 1000m on the track. I knew I needed to be careful with the intensity of the night before. Result? 8 min pace with ease - felt really good. Last one? 7:35 pace. Hmm something's happening here.
Thursday: Met up with friends at Niketown to meet Kara Goucher. She is AMAZING. Totally down to earth and loves NYC. Who wouldn't:) Anyway, that ended up being close to a 4 mile run at an 8:40 clip. My legs were tired but still felt ok.
Friday: Rainy and OFF.
Saturday: Race day. 4 miler in Central Park. Quite honestly I had no idea what to expect. My legs could give me an 8 min mile race or surprise me. First, I got a red corral number since it was an all female race. This gave me extra juice to give it a go. Then Kara Goucher showed up to wish us well. Hey, if miss 4:55 min/mile interval girl is there, I can't half ass this! As the horn blazed, I just said "to hell with it" and raced. Off I went and managed to pull my second fastest 4 mile run EVER. Holy crap! This after the week I had already? What would happen on rested legs? 29:32 result/7:23 pace. Quite pleased.
Sunday: 20 miles. This was a true test on dead legs. I think it was great practice for race day. Those last couple of miles really reminded me of what the last miles of the marathon feel like. I could feel the end of a 50+ mile week. Tired but I could sense the reward at the end. It's one of those feelings that keeps me running. Knowing that the finish line is an amazing feeling everytime. The run was terrific as I joined the NY Flyers for their 20 mile bridges run which took us down the west side highway, over the Brooklyn Bridge, through Brooklyn, Pulaski Bridge and Queens. Overall just a 9:25 pace but it didn't feel awful. Sure it was tough - it is 20 miles for crying out loud - but right now besides exhaustion I'm not sore. Not at all. The picture to the right is me coming off the Queensboro almost 18 miles in. Looking pretty good!
What now? I'm taking a bit of a down week to prepare for the Philly Distance Run (Ryan Hall is running it!) next weekend. My goal? I want to have a solid race. Sub 1:45 would be great. If I can sub 1:45 and feel decent it makes that magical number come October 25th seem not so invincible.
I'm excited. Things are starting to come together and I think the missing link from the past couple years - speed - is back in the equation. Six weeks to go and hopefully it will continue to build towards the elusive goal. Bring it! Time to get to that finish line...