This past week marked the second of the eighteen weeks of my current marathon training cycle. I hit 40 miles for the week, including an 8-mile run with strides, a 10-mile run, and a 13 mile "long run" with 8 miles at marathon pace. What's marathon pace? I'm not sure. I want to break 3:50 in the marathon, which is a pace of 8:49 minutes/mile, or 5:29 minutes/kilometer. However, for a hilly marathon, my perceived effort might be harder than that pace. I shot for an 8:30 minutes/mile pace for my marathon pace yesterday, which is probably too quick for me, especially at this early stage of my training.
My long runs are normally on Sunday mornings, but I had a golf game to play yesterday, so my long run waited until the evening. There was actually a bit of slack time in the middle of my MP miles, as three and a half miles into it I had to make a quick pit stop at home for a bathroom break. While there, Faith Ann mentioned that she had seen a "huge, huge, huge" bear in our driveway. This would have been at dusk. She quickly got her camera, but only saw the bear's butt leaving the driveway by the time she got back. She suggested to me that I might want to consider finishing the run on the treadmill. What would be worse: running the final 6 miles on a treadmill in the heat of the house, or getting chased and possibly eaten by a bear? The answer was so obvious that I immediately went back out to finish my run.
I really wasn't worried, as I figured the bear would likely be scared away if he saw me and my wonderful running technique heading towards him. Plus, can you really believe what you read in Wikipedia?
This coming week I've got two races - a 10k in Grand Bay on Thursday, and a half-marathon in Miramichi on Sunday. I'm not overly optimistic for great times, but I would like to be close to 48 minutes for the 10k, and perhaps a 1:46 or 1:47 for the half. The 10k fits into my plan for the week, as Thursday called for a tempo run, and I'm doing the 13.1 on Sunday instead of the planned 14 miles. A bit of hard work for the week, but hopefully these and more like them will pay off later in the summer/fall!
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