Unfortunately I didn't get any time to run in Pittsburgh, but in Philly I was told about the Schuylkill River Trail that runs right through the city. FUN FACT: Schuylkill is actually pronounced skoo-kel. Weird. Anyway, the trail itself actually reminded me of the Yarra River Trail in Melbourne; a double-lane, dual-use trail, running along the river for mile upon uninterrupted mile. Just lovely.
I got two wonderful runs in along the trail; an easy-10 miler and an 11 miler including a half-marathon specific workout. It was kinda motivating running along the same road I will be running in a week's time for the RnR half!
Now speaking of workouts, I gotta say, I'm quite excited to recap my training the last two weeks. Save for two complete suffer-fests of long runs, I think I've actually been running the best I ever have.
August 25-31, 2013
Sunday: 20 miles at 8:30 avg pace (not counting tons of stops). Horrible, awful, no good, terrible. The weather was about 75 degrees but the humidity was quite high. Miles 16-20 were particularly nasty. I had planned to eat a particularly carb-y dinner the night before, which hadn't worked out, and so was also acutely under-fueled and dehydrated. Not pretty.
Tuesday: 9 miles, treadmill, 1.5%. From one extreme to the other. Ate two pieces of cake at work, before a run-lunch, and after getting over the initial imminent cake-vom feeling, I felt like I was going to fly off the treadmill. Kept it at an easy 8:30 pace + leg workout (3 x 20 squats (40lb); 15 standing lunges (30lb); 15 side lunges (no weight); 15 single leg deadlifts (17.5lb) and 15 leg extensions on machine (cant remember weight)).
Wednesday: 8 miles easy, around 8:30 with 10x100m strides
Thursday: XT - 50 mins on elliptical + yoga
Friday: 10 miles, with 2x3 miles at HM pace, 1 mile jog recovery. Was totally stoked with this one as I have never completed this workout without stopping. Splits were: 6:59, 6:57, 6:44 (8:58 recovery) 6:52, 6:50, 6:43. It was really warm/humid, but I got it done.
Saturday: 8 miles very easy + planks and arm workout
Total: 56 miles
September 1-7, 2013
Sunday: 18 miles at 8:24 avg pace, with 1 mile (16) at MP (7:19). I was going to do the last two more miles up tempo, but couldn't. The entire run was brutal; 82 degrees and about 85% humidity. Had plenty of fuel, stopped many many times for water but I just couldn't beat the heat.
Monday: Walked around Coney Island and got on a few roller coasters. That counts as speedwork, right??
Tuesday: 9 miles at 8:17 avg pace
Wednesday: 10 miles easy at 8:09 avg pace. Weather in Philly turned cool (65 degrees and no wind)... such a beautiful releif.
Thursday: 11 miles with 6x1 mile repeats at HM pace, 3:30 mins jogging recoveries (between 8:30-9:00 pace, no stopping). Splits: 6:48; 6:38; 6:45; 6:34; 6:37; 6:34.
A note on this workout. I did this before NJ Marathon earlier this year, and wasn't even coming close to these speeds. Its probably the most successful speed/lactate threshold workout I've ever done. I had not eaten anything that morning, but I'm betting that the 800 calories of pure carbs I consumed after dinner probably had something to do with it. I tried to slow down in that third mile, but I just kept banging out that pace as though it was nothing. I almost thought my garmin was malfunctioning!
Its fun to compare these two HM workouts with the same from earlier this year. In April I did 2x3 miles at HM pace, and finished with a 7:02 avg (last week I finished with a 6:50 avg). In March I did the same 6x1mile repeats at HM pace with longer recoveries, and averaged only 6:55 pace (last week averaged 6:39 min miles). Big difference!
Friday: 40 mins easy elliptical
Saturday: a.m. 7 miles easy at 8:40 avg pace; p.m. 30 mins easy elliptical + leg strength workout
Total: 55 miles
This week I'm doing a mini-taper. The beauty of doing an 18-week marathon plan, has been that I have been able to schedule a couple of races in the middle, and not be stressed (I do get a little OCD with training plans) that I'm missing any significant amount of training for November 17. In fact this is the first time I have actually sketched out a planned season of racing, rather than just a single race.
You're totally engrossed by that fun fact, I'm sure.
Anyways, I'll be back next week with a race recap and hopefully a shiny new half PR!