Training Week: Nov. 25-Dec. 1

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This last week was the first taper week before CIM or the last real week of training or Thanksgiving, depending on your point of view. As such, I did what any logical person would do: short, fast, and rest.

Monday

Rode about 1:05 easy to and from the high school and home and the running store to buy new shoes, obviously, to solve all my problems. Ran 4.5 miles what was supposed to be easy with the high school boys, but they were in a mood, so it was relatively quick.

Tuesday

If you read my Twitter, you know I was not excited about what my high school boys decided to do for Tuesday. We met at 6 a.m. in the dark and cold on the high school track for their last hard(ish) workout before the state meet on Saturday. It was so dark that when they started doing their 600s, they kept yelling at me across the track: ‘Can you see us, Kelly??’

After doing some of their warm-up and cool-down, I did my own track workout: 1 mile at 6:38 (supposed to be marathon pace, but marathon pace feels crazy slow on a track, like no one should run that slow on a nice smooth track), then 5 x 800m at 3:01, 3:01, 3:02, 3:00, 3:03, then another mile at “marathon pace” — actually 6:42, which is definitely not my marathon pace.

Wednesday

Ran 4 miles easy along the Chicago River near my parent’s house. My face was so cold I wanted to claw my eyes out.

Thursday

Turkey Day 5K. 19:44 — not too good, not too bad.

Friday

Off. Partially to visit family and partially to properly prepare for the high school reunion in the evening. Oh, and partially, because it was a good day to rest.

Saturday

Swam 2,000 easy, which felt good for about 800y and then definitely did not feel good. Then, did about 30′ or so of TRX and light core work, etc — mostly telling Steve how to use the TRX.

On a side note: If you need a gym in Chicago, the Lincoln Square Athletic Club is a winner. It’s part of a chain in Chicago, but I can’t speak about the other ones. I only went to this one is because it’s new and it’s by my parents. It’s nice, mostly because it’s new and not because it’s really fancy, but what was really impressive is that it had all the stuff. You know how most gyms have fancy weight machines, but don’t have basic yoga elastic bands for people to use. Or, they have stationary bikes that connect to your iPhone, but they only have one size of kettlebell. This place had all the stuff. We did some TRX on straps that were out for anyone to use and some core work on Bosu balls and stabilizing platforms and then Steve did some yoga work and I did some light weights. And, then, and this was the kicker for me: I took a shower in one of those overhead waterfall showers. Eventually, my life will be complete when I’m able to install one of those in my own house.

Sunday

Ran 10 miles along the lakefront, with Steve accompanying me for some of it — something he regrets now. Easy, but with some slightly uptempo miles in the middle. Mostly, though, I average 7:50s (which is fast for me for an easy run) because it’s just so damn flat in Chicago. Also, it was downright pleasant out, having warmed up to the high-30s.

TOTAL: 6:55

READY TO GO!!!

Turkey Day 5K — The One in Which Steve Runs

Because I skipped the PA cross-country race last weekend, I wanted to do a 5K or something this week to get the legs moving before CIM. It’s my theory that if you run a fast race a week or so before a marathon, then marathon pace feels much easier.

Fortunately, Thanksgiving is the most popular day in the country for races. So, I picked a turkey trot near my parents’ house in Lincoln Park in Chicago. The only downside was that it was cold even for Chicago, like 18 degrees by the lake. When I took my gloves off to pin my race number on, I had to do it quickly before my hands froze, but it got harder the longer it took because I couldn’t feel my fingers. It was like trying to dismantle a bomb.

Somehow, I managed to convince Steve to run the 5K too, even though he hasn’t run in seven years. I figured it was my last chance to beat him ever if he starts running again soon. And, I didn’t want to be out in the cold on my own.

So cold after the race. Still, so cold.
So cold after the race. Still, so cold.

We warmed up for about 15′ and took off the top layer of sweatshirts, but that was pretty much the extent of getting ready.

Steve dropped me in the first mile, but I figured my only chance was that he would blow up. Also, I was running the fastest I really should/could right now. I hit the first mile around 6:10, but it felt great and easy. The second mile was a 6:25 or so, but it still felt pretty good until the very end when we turned and the wind made my eyes start to water. The last mile I felt shitty, but I suppose that’s to be expected. If you didn’t feel shitty in a 5K, then you probably aren’t trying hard enough. I was fighting to not slow down too much, but I’m pretty sure I still slowed down. Instead of passing people, people started to pass me and I started to wonder where the end was going to be. Where? Where?

I ended up crossing the line in 19:44, about 50″ behind Steve and about 20-25″ slower than I had hoped to do. It was never going to be my fastest 5K, but I thought it’d be a little faster. Still, it was about as good as I could have hoped for and it got the job done — ready for CIM next weekend.

Then, about 10′ later I probably could have done the exact same thing again, but I couldn’t have gone any faster. Steve, though, was sure he could have run faster, but was also crippled from running at all and has pretty much struggled to walk down stairs since Thursday. I guess that’s what being in marathon shape is. I hope.