This afternoon I wrapped up my highest mileage week ever. It's now 3 weeks until the marathon and time to begin the taper madness. The goal now is to stay sharp, not gain weight, and stay injury free while restoring the freshness to my battered legs. The 114 miles I've run over the last 2 weeks is certainly my most intense stretch of running ever and I'm feeling it.
I did actually race a 5K this week, or really I just ran and tried to hold on at a decent speed while my legs asked why I was being crazy. It was the Oktoberfest 5K which didn't have quite the turnout of Wurst Running Club Ever that I was hoping for, but a good showing from the /r/RunnersInChicago track night group made it a fun night. Lynton was pacing a friend to a PR and kept near enough that I was able to use him as an anchor to keep from completely dropping pace. I did actually run a fast first mile clocking in at 6:41 including the first 90 seconds at a current pace under 6:00 min/mile until slowing down to the 7:00 min/mile range. I cruised to the finish in 21:32 which is my 2nd fastest 5K race. Not bad considering I had no business running fast on the tired legs I had. There were several PRs that night among the Redditors so it shows that Track Night is really paying off.
I never backed down after the 5K logging 7, 10, and 20 mile days to close out the week. The 10 mile run was pretty bad. My heart kept racing and knew that my body was completely fatigued. I survived and rested and loaded up on calories and hydrated the rest of the day. Today's 20 miler started bad. There was a charity walk going through my start point and I just wanted to get past them. My heart rate was picking up too fast which was a bad sign. After a mile or so I finally relaxed and settled into a groove and got the heart rate down. I had to peel a few layers off as it got warmer than I thought it would and I was sweating heavily. I felt better after than and cruised on down the lakefront until I hit another walk just before McCormick. I also hit this same walk later when I was going north and they would not yield an inch of the path. So frustrating. Anywho I made it down to 10 miles and was starting to feel the fatigue. I had no choice but to turn around and keep at it though. I was hit hard by the wind after turning around and it was a fight all the way back. I chose to start using run/walk intervals in order to keep the effort down. I didn't want to start breaking down muscle for fuel just to finish a training run. I finished with an overall pace that matched my marathon pace from last year in spite of intentionally keeping the effort down which is encouraging.
Mon - 6.77
Tue - 7.21
Wed - 4.5
Thu - 1.4 WU + 5K (21:32)
Fri - 7.08
Sat - 10.05
Sun - 20.01
Miles through Week 15 - 596
Miles through Week 15 in 2013 - 400
If it wasn't evident before, I completely smashed the training that I did for the marathon last year. I've been fortunate enough to stay healthy and have seen huge performance improvements in my shorter races. I'm hoping this translates to big things come race day.