Week 7/18 for Hamilton Marathon (race: Rock the Road 10K)

This was the first week in which I ran more than 100 miles! I’m glad that my body seems to be holding together and I’ve got no major aches to complain about! On five occasions this year, I’ve run 95-99 miles so this isn’t anything too out of the ordinary; just a small milestone in my training.

Speaking of running a lot, I completely failed the workout I had planned for Monday due to tired legs; I just couldn’t get up to speed for the threshold intervals so I scrapped it after a mile-and-a-half of being 30 seconds/mile slower than my target pace. I think the 22 miler from last Saturday and the hilly 10 miler I did on Sunday left me pretty beat up. To make up for that, I ran a more moderately paced 10 mile tempo on Thursday.

I had a 21 miler planned for Saturday with a bunch of marathon pace and threshold miles that would’ve been a good workout but a friend suggested we run the Rock the Road 10K race in London since it had many fast runners entered and as a bonus we were eligible for complimentary entry because of the times we’ve run this year! That made it hard to say no.

Instead of 21 on Saturday, I went out for an easy 10 miler with 4x800m at my goal race pace (3:15/km) and then an easy 4 mile shakeout Saturday evening. I decided that since this last-minute race was a pretty low risk situation (free entry and I still have the Zoo Run 10K in September to try again), I was going to go for another PB and shoot for 32:30-32:45.

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There were plenty of fast runners in the 10K, including past winners of the Hamilton Marathon and Around the Bay, so it was great to have people to chase the whole way.

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The race started down a long hill on Richmond St and after I broke out of the pack that had boxed me in a bit, I was probably in 15th place or thereabouts. We heard this was a PB course but that was a lie; there were two significant inclines (one roughly a mile long, the other a mile-and-a-half). I was pretty well on target up to the first hill where my KM splits dropped from 3:11, 3:14, 3:17 to 3:22 at the first incline. I worked hard up the hill telling myself that I should catch the pack of four guys ahead of me so I could tuck in with them. When I caught them, I was feeling well enough that I kept going and steadily passed them. One of the four came with me and we ran the next couple KM together until I started to fall apart.

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Down the other side of the first hill, I got back on track with 3:15, 3:15 for the next two KM before the second incline came about. I had a hard time here probably from going out too quickly and from the warmer than expected temperature – 3:20, 3:25, 3:28 – until finally the last incline was over and there was one final KM to run (3:16). Between KMs 6-9, the guy I had been running with dropped me and I was passed by another to end up in 9th place with a time of 33:09. Not the result I was hoping for but I’m happy considering the heat, the hills, and the fact that I’ve been heavy into my marathon training.

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Anyway, here’s my week of training:

M: 7.2 miles easy.

Tu: 15.6 miles. A sufferfest after I failed to get up to threshold speed for an 18 miler. I tried to salvage what I could by running 800m in-and-outs but the fast intervals I could barely keep below 6:30/mile.

W: 15.4 miles. 6.7 miles helping the SCSS XC team with their workout at Canatara Park. I then did another 3.9 miles of hills and trails on my own. In the evening, I took my son out for a 4.8 mile jog in the stroller.

Th: 15 miles. 10 mile tempo (5:47/mile) and then 5 mile easy in the evening. Spent 20 minutes or so on the foam roller working my calves and shins.

F: 14 miles easy with 6 strides, followed by a good stretch.

Sa: 14 miles. 10 miles easy with 4x800m @3:15/km (goal race pace).  4 miles recovery jog in the evening.

Su: 20.3 miles. Rock the Road 10K in 33:09 with 2 miles warmup.  Another 12 miles moderate with 4 at marathon pace in the evening.

Total: 101.85 miles.

I’m really happy with how this week came together.  Definitely one of my most consistent weeks as far as daily mileage goes. Although I had issues with Monday’s workout, I think the race and mileage are good indications that I’m preparing well for my goal of 2:28 at Hamilton.

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