I decided to take advantage of my time off (2 weeks –and no travel). I did go to New Orleans the first weekend for a race (Ole Man River Half Marathon– 1:33:53 PR) and I behaved for the most part. I did have two ice creams for dessert at lunch post race. I also had a few drinks in the French Quarter the night after the race. But other than that I have been on task regarding my diet.
Further taking advantage of the holiday, I conducted a little running camp. I thought that this would be a good time to really up the mileage and increase some of the paces. Without having to go to work it gave me time to get some time to do some long runs without having to run in the dark hours of the morning or evening. Even more importantly, the time off, has giving me time to recover from these endeavors. I have been impressed with my recovery this past 2 weeks. This is an area that I have really struggled with in the past. I remember my first half marathon in November of 2008 – 14 months ago. It took me nearly 2 weeks to recover from that race alone. I tried to run a little bit and push the pace and it just was not there. So during this time off I was able to successfully race twice by meeting or exceeding my goals. The chart below shows my running for the 2 weeks – 16 days. I took a total of four complete days off from running and had two days where I ran really short but pushed the pace. These short intense sessions were to decide on paces for the upcoming races. I also did the longer runs in groups of 3 and then took a day off (on these off days I rode the bike trainer – total time on the trainer during the holiday was 6 hours). The three day run groupings broke down as follows:
1. 28.71 miles / average 9.57 miles per dayI finished up the holiday with 12 miles (7.45 miles at race pace), 16 miles and then another 15 miles - back to back. I never felt any discomfort while running – sure the legs were tired and a little sore immediately following the runs and also during the morning the next day – but it was manageable.
2. 33.16 miles / average 11.05 miles per day
3. 43.13 miles / average 14.37 miles per day