I have been working my frequency with the running. After the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon I took a day off from running. But I have run every day since. This gave me 11 days straight and a total mileage of just over a hundred. In these 11 days I ran 16 separate sessions. However, the run volume was weighted on the backend. For the past 7 days I have run 6 – 11 – 12 – 6 – 18 – 12 – 6 for a total of 71 miles. In this 7 day stretch I ran 10 times. The shortest run was 6 miles and the longest was 12 miles.
I never felt any soreness. There have been no signs of overuse or nagging aches and pains. However, after the 18 miles on Tuesday (these were 3 runs at AM / NOON / PM) I did start to feel fatigue. My legs were getting tired but that is something that is not uncommon. The fatigue would go away after the first couple of miles of the next session.
One thing to note about every one of these miles since Baton Rouge is that they have all been at a comfortable pace (just under 8 minutes per mile). There have been no tempo runs, no intervals and really not even any strides. The Wednesday before last I did run the coliseum steps (basketball stadium) on campus. This workout equates to very hard and steep hill repeats of short duration. This was a real challenge. The repeats (45 of them) were run with very little recovery (about 10 seconds). I had planned on doing 60 repeats but I was overcome. That is the first time in training that I really thought that I was going to throw up. I can get that feeling in races but not in training unless the heat index is 110+. The coliseum was comfortable – it was just a really hard workout.
For my taper I took yesterday off from running. I did however join some friends for some mountain bike riding. The air was brisk and the temperature was in the 40’s. I was riding with buddies that have better mountain biking skills than I. I also decided to put a pair of old road bike clip less pedals on the mountain bike. This would be the first time with clip less pedal off road. Would this be a mistake during a taper for a half marathon?
Of course, I knew it would be. I had 3 low speed crashes out on the trails. Nothing major, I am good at falling. The first two falls were at very low speed while climbing steep sections of the trail. I just lost momentum and fell over sideways. There was no harm and no foul. However, I am not sure what happened the last time I crashed. We were actually heading out of the woods and we were ready to call it a day. I think I just lost concentration and my front wheel turned out from under me. I went down harder than the other two falls. I banged my shin on the left leg and my foot on the right. When I got home I took a look and there was a pretty big bruise on the top of my right foot. It was sore all night. Fortunately, today the bruise is barely noticeable.
The Ole Man River Half is tomorrow and I still think I will be able to give this race a run for its money. The temperature should be a little cooler than Baton Rouge and the course is definitely flatter. There are no hills around City Park in New Orleans. I blew up at this race last year. I was chasing a friend that went out way too fast for me. I basically ran much too hard for 2 miles and then suffered for the next 11 just trying to hang on – it was a very difficult race for me. I did end up with a PR but that is not the fastest way around the track.
It will be an interesting test to see if the higher volume of the last week will allow for me to push the pace and achieve another PR. When asked what are the goals for the race I always say, “To run as fast as I have ever run before.” This has been working for me so far.