Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mississauga Marathon training: Week 5

I like to start these with some sort of summary thoughts, but this week I got nothing. It was a good week, overall. Here's the recap:

Monday: Family Day (aka the 'sorry winter is so long' statutory holiday). I took advantage of the day off to bank some miles for the week. Normally I take Mondays as a rest day, but it made more sense to get in my midweek longish run with hills on a day I didn't have to go to work. Headed to Northshore stupidly early and did every hill twice - tough workout! 14k total.

For the record, it was insanely cold AGAIN. Really, mother nature, I cannot handle these -20C days. Enough. Please.

Tuesday: Rest day from running. Woke up to a pile of fresh snow, slipped and fell on my ass on the way to the car. Thanks to the fresh snow I only got a wet butt, not injured. Then my car got stuck in the street, so I gave up on the day and decided to work at home. It was just that kind of day!

Then the snowplow dumped this across my driveway. The 30 minutes it took to dig out (and help my neighbour with theirs) was totally my strength workout for the day.
Wednesday: 8k easy. Beautiful, warm day! Overdressed because I have no idea what to wear when it's PLUS SIX DEGREES. Awesome easy run.

Thursday: Oh, hello, an 8k tempo run on the schedule. First speed work in ages. 1k warmup, 5k comfortably hard, 2k cooldown. Ran based on perceived effort, and mostly ignored my watch, because I was curious where my pace would end up if I focused on running a hard effort instead of on specific numbers. Answer? 5:13, 5:10, 5:15, 5:10, 5:07 (more or less - that's what my watch says, although Strava and Runkeeper both take the exact same file and come up with slightly different numbers).

So that put a huge grin on my face. A) I haven't forgotten how to run fast and B) I really felt like I could have held that pace a lot longer. At least for another 10k. Possibly to 21.1k. Which has me thinking about what I want to do for the Chilly half next weekend. I'd been planning to treat it as a somewhat faster than usual training run, but now I'm wondering if maybe I should just go all out and see what happens? Decisions, decisions.

Friday: Rest day. It rained overnight Thursday, which meant waking up to this mess:


Ugh. Ice everywhere. Makes it hard to find safe places to run.

Saturday: 28k long run. Met Patty and Sam early at Dundurn Castle to run the old Around the Bay route (minus a couple of km). Super worried going in about the road conditions - how bad would the ice be? Turns out I should have been more worried about the stupid wind, because the roads in Hamilton were absolutely fine (not so much on Northshore, c'mon, get it together Burlington!). When we reached the lift bridge at around 15k the wind picked up out of nowhere and then we had a horrible headwind for the rest of the run. There was a lot of cursing and I think the last 10k took longer than the first 15k, what with all the stopping to rest and complain (Northshore hills + headwind = NO THANK YOU). I can't remember the last time I was so happy for a run to be over.

The lazy winter runner's ice bath. Yeah, I sat in a snowbank for like 5 minutes. It felt amazing.
Left achilles was a bit bothersome Saturday afternoon, so I iced it.

Sunday: 8k recovery run. Street was quiet and ice free and the wind had died off, thank god. The achilles was a bit twingy at the beginning, though, so I'm going to have to keep an eye on that. I'll be taking Monday as a rest day and then will see how it feels Tuesday.

Sunny! Warm! I am in complete denial about the weather forecast for the upcoming week!

Weekly summary: 67km run. Go me. Longest week since...well I'm not sure when, my records are kind of messed up. There's a week back in 2012 that was supposedly 72k, but I'm not sure I believe that. Definitely my longest week in the last year.

This next week will be a bit of a mileage drop so I can do a small taper before the Chilly half on Sunday. I still have to decide how I'm going to approach the race, which is going to depend on three things:

1) Weather
2) How I feel physically (including that achilles thing)
3) How I feel mentally

I was checking the forecast for Sunday and is the Weather Network drunk? I think the Weather Network might be drunk.
Assuming cooperative (non exploding) weather and healthy body, do I go all out for a new PB and risk a spectacular crash and burn? Run it moderately hard but not all out? Treat it as an LSD? Marathon pace test? At this point I really don't know, and probably won't make a decision until the morning of the race. That said, I am very excited for the start of spring race season! Chilly, Around the Bay, Mississauga Marathon, Sulphur Springs, here I come!


  1. Great week of training on a not so great week of weather/conditions. I think it's a good idea to decide on race day what you will do, based on how you feel. Good luck and enjoy.

  2. YAY! Race day decision! WOOHOO! I can't believe its going to be another Shitola week o'weather. See ya Sunday, I'm already practicing yelling at you for the last two k if you decide to go balls to the wall (assuming I can go balls to the wall that is).

    1. Ha, the thought of having someone to yell at me the last couple of km makes me a little more likely to go the PB chasing route, lol. Runners are gluttons for punishment.

  3. I don't trust the weather network's long-term forecast. Too unpredictable. But I suspect it will be really cold.

    Enjoy the race. Maybe just start slow and see how you feel after a couple of kilometers?

  4. Haha that you sat in the snow. Should have done it face down like I said I wanted to. Saturday was the worst. I definitely think that the running PTB should grace us all with PBs this spring for dealing with this crap. See you Sunday.

  5. I am so sitting in a snowbank after my next LSD. Great job and awesome week! Hope that achilles settles down!

  6. I would have sat in a snowbank if the ones at Dundurn weren't so disgusting.