Since my "What the heck is a tempo run" post, I've talked a bit with Ryan about my marathon training. Ryan thinks tempo run are dumb. Ha. Or maybe it was just that he was saying my four-mile tempo run was dumb?! ;) In any event, he encouraged me to look at the "Advanced Marathon" training book by Pfitzinger that he borrowed from Jamie, and which he used in his last marathon training. I'm a bit leery of training plans to begin with, especially those that are accompanied by a book, but the 18 week plan with a build to 55 miles did seem fairly reasonable, although there are days that say something like V02 Max, 8 mi w/ 5 x 600 m @ 5k race pace; jog 90 sec between, and Lactate Threshold, 10 mi w/ 5 mi @ 15k to half marathon race pace. Those words are rather scary, I must say. But since, let's face it, I'm probably going to muck with any plan I go with, I did begrudgingly agree in the end that the Pfitz plan seems more my type of plan. There is a lot of running, yes, but there is no real, typical speedwork and the vast majority of the suggested runs for the weeks are ones that it seems like I could do without having too many thoughts of "oh my god, I must hit this exact speed," etc.
So I've modified my approach a bit. I erased the Hal Higdon numbers, and wrote in the Pfitz numbers in my planner. Of course, I then proceeded to modify those numbers the very first week. Gotta factor in the snowshoe race! ;-)
In any event, today's run was supposed to be 8 miles at a steady pace, meaning not too fast, but definitely not recovery pace. It was a gloriously sunny afternoon and I got out of work at noon. I really really really wanted to run through the Commons out to Simpson's Point, but a quick recon look at the trails led me to realize that I would just be better off doing the whole run on the roads. Darn this wacky weather! The first few miles were really busy. I was dodging traffic and icy sidewalks and other runners and walkers. Things mellowed out once I got out to the edge of town. Ah. Much more to my liking. I stopped at the edge of the Commons to pee and check out the trail conditions there. Lots of snow and ice. I continued on out through the fields of Pennelville, all looking distressingly golden and much less white than they should for this time of year.
The Garmin beeped 5.0 right at the turn-around at Simpson's Point, so I stopped my watch, ate a Salted Caramel Gu (Delicious by the way! It was lunchtime after all.), and took in a view for a minute or two. The sun shimmered off the iced-over bay, and big blocks of ice looked like sculptures up at the edge of the shoreline. Very nice. Then I was off again for the return trip. Took a slightly different route back and ended up with 9.4 miles in 1:17. I knew I was pushing the pace for most of the run, in part because the route was essentially all flat road, but the legs felt good, it was warm, and steady is such a relative term. Probably at the edge of "steady" today, but happy with how it went. I think I need to do Friday's run on trails though. I haven't run much on the roads until the past week or so, and I know I need to make sure to give my legs some trail time so I can keep everything happy! Hoping the trails firm up over the next few days!