Well, this was a nice week. Army 10 Miler really didn't beat me up, so recovery was relatively uneventful, and I was feeling relatively fresh (for marathon training) by Wednesday.
For the end of the work week and the weekend we had perfect weather. Friday I was rewarded with one of the best tempos I've had in a while. The splits my coach was calling were much faster than my perceived effort, so I just let myself cruise, reluctantly stopping at 5 miles since my coach didn't want me going longer.
On Sunday, I did "the loop" for the first time for my 20 miler. The loop is my team's traditional long run route, which features a steady, sometimes sharp descent for the last five miles. While I've done many 20 milers, I had previously avoided the loop due to the pain the long downhill finish caused my right groin/hip. But that was before I had several rounds of PRP/prolotherapy to that area to heal a chronic tear in my groin. I had tested running fast on that section a few months ago, and found that it no longer caused pain, so the loop was now an option.
And it was the easiest and most fun 20+ miler I think I've ever done. Part of it was that I had a running buddy for almost the entire route - since I've historically done a separate route for my 20+ milers, I've always soloed the last 10-15 miles. Having good company made the miles fly by.
The long downhill stretch at the end (plus tailwind) also made it easier. I ran the final five mile section at perceived marathon pace effort, not checking my Garmin. As it turns out, I ran it substantially faster than goal marathon pace, so I guess that's an oops. But I don't feel terribly beaten up or trashed, and the effort was conversational, so probably no harm no foul.
In other news, I'm adjusting to life in our house and new addition (not to be confused with New Edition). The unifying theme of the house is stairs - it seems that any time I go anywhere in the house, stairs are involved. I expect my hill running skills to improve substantially.
|More new stairs, plus more boxes to unpack|
And... a picture of our shower, which is our "party piece" in Brian's words. Two person shower, with a central rainhead and a wand. And in black with black grout, so I can dye my hair without too much worry. We spent more on the shower than was practical, but it was worth it - I grin every time I use it.
|I love this shower.|