So, six weeks sounds pretty close. Still plenty of time to get in better shape though (thank God). I've got three more heavy weeks planned and a gradual taper. So far I have been able to stick to my plan. Haven't missed any runs yet. No real injuries to derail me. Just the usual aches, pains and constant fatigue. Last night I slept ten hours. It was wonderful.
So, let's see. A week ago I was supposed to do 17. I met up with the Saturday group run, which is normally 10-11 miles in the hills. I planned to add some miles at the end after taking advantage of the camaraderie for a while. I ran with a couple of friends who kept pushing the pace just a bit faster than I was comfortable with. After three miles I let them slip ahead because I was working too hard for long run day. I was sucking wind and feeling pretty demoralized so I took a walk break. It was frustrating, but my attitude was one of just keep plugging at whatever pace and get the miles in. As I restarted at an easier pace I started to feel better. I skipped a section so that I could meet back up with the group a little later. By then I felt the mojo returning and was able to run with them the rest of the way. We added some miles at the turnaround, some trails along the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean on a gorgeous day. It was splendiferous. The pace was reasonable and we took some more walk breaks later and by the time we finished at 14.6 miles I figured that was enough for today. Instead I added miles to Sunday's run.
I figured Sunday to be rough after that effort, but the legs surprised me and had a little spark left. I did 8.6 miles at my usual pace and finished the 47 mile week confident! Maybe I can do this! The left knee pain is not going away, but it's not getting worse either. It settles into a constant ache. Lately the right ankle/achilles has been the problem - feeling weak when I push off it.
Tuesday was 9 miles where I just plodded along and again the pace was disappointing and the right leg was letting me down. Wednesday I was looking forward to a track workout or mile repeats on the track, but the track was closed due to a lacrosse game, so there was no group workout. Instead I went home and did 4x1 by myself along the beach again. Felt even worse than last week with the leg feeling weak and I couldn't get any speed going. I just did what I could, which was 7:44 for the first two, and then 7:20, 7:24 for the second two. With very little rest. The legs did start to feel better after I warmed up, so at least that was a little encouraging.
The plan was an easy six Friday and then 18 on Saturday. But a forecast for heavy rain and winds on Saturday made me switch those up and do 18 on Friday. I skipped the woodchips and just did a straight out and back along the beach. And I felt pretty good! Not fantastic, but I kept a nice steady pace and the legs behaved. Again, the right leg felt off, but after about five miles it seemed to loosen up and feel normal. The knee doesn't really bother me. The pain is just there. By the last six miles, all the other fatigue-related pains are all that I'm feeling - sore muscles mainly. Tight hamstrings, etc. I clipped along in the 8:20s and then the 8:10s until the last three miles where I faded a bit to the 8:30s. Pretty wiped out by the end, but definitely happy to still be on track. The idea of 8 more is terrifying, but that's true every time.
I'll count that as my snowbuster entry, even though I wasn't racing it. 2:31:05 for 18 miles.
The next day I dragged my tired legs out for six, and it wasn't too bad. It was fun to run in the rain at 8:45 pace for six miles. Another week done. This coming week is a big one with 54 miles topped off with a 20 on Sunday. It's mostly gravy after that.
Life is good.