Some random thoughts on the run-in to the Quebec City half marathon on August 28:
Since I found the Holy Grail of a sub-90 minute half marathon on May 29, something has changed. It seems that a comfortable pace for my long runs (sundays) and recovery runs (mondays) is about 20 seconds or more faster per km than it was before. There must have been something that really let go in my CPU after that race - perhaps in the knowledge that I could have done it even faster and barely felt tired right after.
Training seems more fun now too. A few times in the past month in Calgary, there have been heavy downpours. I've managed to miss them on sundays, but have got caught a couple of times. For a world-class sweater like me, it makes quite a difference in speed. It came down so hard on one of my monday, recovery runs that water was at least 3cm deep in the shallowest parts. Trying to avoid puddles having become irrelevant, I found myself laughing as I deliberately sprinted through the deeper stuff up to my ankles. All kinds of things probably underpin that episode.
In the meantime, when it's not raining, there are sunday runs with views like this:
Following my training plan for QC, I've made the sunday runs a touch longer, although the day after last sunday's long run my right thigh did feel a little tight. Monday's recovery run was done on the bike instead which worked well - "bike therapy" has always done the trick when it comes to soreness or injury. Keep it at 90 rpm and the legs think they're running and the lack of impact leads them to loosening up.
Today was supposed to be the longest run of all, but was the same distance as last sunday - 24.5km, though it was way hotter today so I'm satisfied that it acted as a longer run. It tops off peak mileage week - 4 weeks before the race:
12k easy run on monday (60 min bike instead).
20x 1min under 3:50/km on wed - ie hard running with 3:50 as minimum pace.
3x 10 min at 3:50 - 4:00/km on friday - same as 5k race pace, but 50% longer but with 3 minute breaks.
7.5k easy on saturday - should be 9k, but usually do this one on the bike after weights.
24.5k easy-ish on sunday.
Went to the hot springs in Banff on saturday - my first time to any hot spring ever. What an effect on a runner's legs! Hoping that now the kms will decrease, minor aches will fade away. All I need now is good running weather in QC. In Calgary back in May, I set my watch to pace me for 4:10-4:15 per km. Given how I felt at the end of that race, I'm probably going to set it for 4:07-4:12 and push for a strong time. I ordered a cheap mini-camcorder I hope to fix to a headband and have it rolling from start to finish, so if it arrives in time and works, the video ought to be great.