Edmonton, Canada.... that's all I have to say about that. Well, I guess I had a race, and I guess I got to wear a U.S. Jersey in what was considered to be an International Exhibition at the half marathon distance. This was a great experience for me to finally test my fitness after being injured over the winter months, and not getting a true gauge of my race fitness, until now. I was planning on racing the AFC Half Marathon, but decided to race Edmonton due to the flatter course, possibly better weather, and an opportunity to wear a US Jersey.
After the hectic ordeal of getting to Canada, going through customs, and not getting a ride to the hotel, I attempted to relax till race day. On race day, the weather was slightly warmer than expected, but the course was awesome! A nice out and back on relatively flat streets, made for a great race. A couple of Kenyans, Ethiopians and 3 Americans consisted of the elite field and for some decent times. Since we where in another country, they had kilometer marks, so I attempted to get 2k splits, but once the race started getting hard and my pace fell off my goal pace of 65 minutes, I started taking 1k splits. I also managed to miss a couple kilometer splits and got a 4k split. The following times are my splits:
[6:21, 6:28, 5:51, 6:12 (24:53-8k), 6:12 (31:06-10k), 12:49, 2:54, (46:50-15k), 3:19, 3:13, 3:05, 3:18, 3:19 (1:03:12-20k), ?:??] Total time: 1:06:28
It didn't go too bad, and I was happy with my performance. Again, it's a great indicator to where I'm at and how I'm progressing towards the Marathon.
Week 7 Training:
Mon - am. 6 miles easy
Tue - am. 4x2 mile at tempo pace (10:53, 10:49, 10:40, 10:42) total: 13 miles / pm. 6 miles easy
Wed - am. 12 miles easy / pm. 6 miles easy
Thur - am. 10 miles easy / pm. 4 miles easy w/4x hill strides
Fri - am. Travel to Edmonton / pm. 6 miles easy
Sat - am. 4 miles easy w/3x strides on the grass
Sun - am. half marathon race. Total: 18 miles / pm. Travel Home
Total: 85 miles
The next day I couldn't believe how sore I was. I was lucky enough to get a massage on Monday after teaching, and the soreness would slowly subside throughout the week with more miles. I was a bit hesitant to do a workout this week, and didn't think I'd be able to finish the planned tempo session. But, the body can prove the mind wrong. The workout was scheduled on Thursday, which was ample time for my quads to stop aching, and the session was 4x1 mile at tempo pace with 1 minute rest, followed by 5 minutes rest, then 3x1 mile at tempo pace. With "only" 7 miles at tempo pace, I still thought I should just do the first 7, and call it. Yet, once the workout started with the help of Kris Houghton and Soloman Kandie (Kenyan), we were able to get it done quite fast... At least, fast for me.
Sunday was another workout in our long run. Again, the temperature crept into some dangerous highs, but we were able to get it done before it got too hot. The long run would have us: warming up for 4 miles, then straight into 4x1 mile repeats at tempo pace/effort, then 60 minutes easy to medium pace, then a 3 mile continuous tempo, and whatever remained of the 22 miler, which was about 1 1/2 miles.
All in all, this week was a little tough as I had to get back into the teaching rhythm and recover from the race along with some workouts. But, I'm feeling strong, and the workouts are transitioning towards more marathon specific workouts without much "speed" oriented work. The only speed work will be done through strides, which I'll be combining both hill strides and flat fast strides. Most of this stuff will be at goal mile pace, or in my case, dream mile pace (4:00 minute mile). This is actually pretty easy as they're done at a distance of less than 200m.
Mon - am. 8 miles easy
Tue - am. 10 miles easy / pm. 4 miles easy
Wed - am. 8 miles easy / pm. 10 miles easy
Thur - am. 4x1 mile at tempo, 5 min rest, 3x1 mile at tempo (5:24, 5:13, 5:17, 5:18) (5:14, 5:07, 5:10) total: 12 miles / pm. 8 miles easy
Fri - am. 2 miles dead tired / pm. 12 miles med/easy
Sat - am. 12 miles med
Sun - am. 22 miles w/4x1 miles at tempo, 60 min rest, 3 mile tempo (5:30, 5:25, 5:30, 5:25), (5:32, 5:27, 5:26)