Just under 1 month until the Fox Cities Marathon! I am fairly happy with the effort I've put into this training cycle. Here's the last two weeks:
Week of 8/12:
Good mid week runs capped off by the Madison Mini Marathon. I was hoping to run marathon goal pace (9:55) and I was just under it (9:42). I don't think I could have held on at that pace for a whole lot longer that day though. I just feel slow and sluggish lately. To be fair, it was hot and a hilly course. The Fox Cities Marathon is flat for the most part and I am keeping my fingers crossed for some cool weather on race day.
Week of 8/19:
Not too good on the midweek runs this week (I lost a bit of steam), but I did complete a very challenging 21 miler on Saturday. A local running group was hosting a 'conquer the hills' 12 mile run in my town. I figured it would be perfect to run 8 miles before meeting up with them since it didn't start until 8 am. My 8 solo miles were good, although I did have to pick it up in the last two miles to make sure I met the group on time. I made it with a few minutes to spare.
Now, I run hills all the time. I like them. I run down the road this hill challenge was held on all the time (I even ran it during my last 20 miler), but I totally underestimated how hard this dang run would be. The side roads branching off the main road were no joke. I can't even paint the right mental image of how steep and long these hills were. It was by far the hardest run of my entire life. I wanted to quit after my hamstrings started cramping up, but I walked/hobbled it in and inhaled at least 2 lbs of watermelon and oranges at the finish. I felt like I had nothing left in the tank - both physically and mentally! The finish was 1 mile from my house and instead of throwing in the towel and calling Kevin for a ride, I trudged home and collapsed on my living room floor.
I will never underestimate a run that is labeled as a 'hill challenge' again. Ever.
Today I keep reminding myself everytime my legs feel like jello that it was great mental training for the marathon. If that didn't kill me, then 5 more miles in flat Northeastern Wisconsin won't, right?