Since I can't run this week because I am recovering from the Cleveland Marathon, and I am feeling a bit of post-marathon depression, I am keeping myself occupied by figuring out what my next race will be. Obviously my big goal is to still try to get to Boston in 2017, I am looking at races prior to the cut off date, which is really difficult at this point since Boston has yet to announce their cut off! Once I know that, I will be able to pick, and if it's late enough, a few more options may open up. But until then, I am looking at the ones which I am sure are ahead of the cut off.
As a result of my searching, there are two marathons that I am seriously considering. The first is (obviously when you realize that I live in OH) Presque Isle Marathon in Erie, Pennsylvania. The second is (significantly less obvious) Revel Big Cottonwood just outside of Salt Lake City Utah. Both are very different races, but both come with a reputation for producing a large amount of Boston Qualifiers and are always before the cut off.
Presque Isle, Erie PA
After watching several friends try to qualify for Boston last year, all I heard about was the Erie Marathon and I watched several friends qualify for Boston at the Erie Marathon.
When: Sunday, September 11, 2016; 7 am - 1 pm
Where: Presque Isle State Park, Erie PA
Numbers: 2200 Cap; No Half
Course: Flat (less than 250ft elevation change), paved surface, shade, moderate climate and plenty of aid stations on a double loop course
Qualifiers: More than 30% qualify
Why I'm Interested In Erie:
1. It's flat! Need I say more? A course as flat as this nearly guarantees a PR.
2. It's scenic. It runs through the state park and has beautiful lake views.
3. It's a loop. This is good because it guarantees that my mom can be at the half with my second supply of gels and Nuun.
4. Lots of people will be trying to qualify. People run this race to qualify for Boston and it will be helpful to have people trying to run my pace and everyone in the same boat brings a good energy.
5. It starts early. It is easier to beat any possible heat when it starts that early.
Why I'm hesitant to run Erie:
1. The park shuts down for the race. I need to see people when I run, and I need to see people I know. Since the only way in and out of the course is the road we run on, it is unlikely there will be spectators on the course.
2. The views are likely the same throughout. No, I don't know this for sure, but I'm guessing that the views throughout the park are not much different throughout the course.
3. It's VERY small. I don't like small races. I don't like running alone out on the course and 2200 is tiny. This means I will likely be alone or with very few people.
4. It's a loop. Yes, this is on both pros and cons. I am not crazy about running the same course twice. When I get into the second part, when the race really starts, I need distractions and I don't think running the same part a second time will be the distraction I need.
Revel Big Cottonwood, Salt Lake City UT
I didn't realize this race was before the cutoff until I started searching, but I have heard nothing but good things about this race organization, this race, and this location.
When: Saturday, September 10, 2016; 7 am - 1 pm
Where: Big Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City, Utah
Numbers: 1300 in Full Last Year; 2500 in the Half
Course: Incredibly fast and remarkably beautiful from the forests and canyons of the Wasatch Mountains to the foothills of Salt Lake City, Utah. Featuring a speedy downhill slope (-5255 ft) and spectacular scenery.
Qualifiers: Fastest marathon in the state. Avg time of 4:08.
Why I'm Interested In Big Cottonwood:
1. The downhill. After the 20 mile drop went so well for me, and I had no problems with my knees, I feel like a course like this has the potential to be a great course for me.
2. The views. I don't think I could ask for a much more beautiful course than to wind my way through this canyon with gorgeous scenic views.
3. The average finish time. A lot of people would be happy to run a 4:08 marathon. So considering that that is the average time, that says a lot about the potential for this to be a very fast course.
4. Point to point course. I love point to points because there is no duplication. Additionally, this course does not involve a single out and back anywhere on the course.
5. Swag. Okay, so maybe this isn't the most important thing. BUT, if I am going to pay $110+ to run a marathon and travel across the country to get it, it's nice to have a nice expo, to get free race pics, have the race negotiate discount hotel rates, and to provide you with gloves and mylar blankets before the race even starts.
6. Past Participants. The people who have run this race seem to really love it. They rave about it and tend to return for future races.
Why I'm hesitant to run Big Cottonwood:
1. Training. I live in Ohio. We do not have 5255 ft drops to train on. While I ran the 20 mile drop without issue, that was only about a 750ft drop. I'm not sure how the additional downhill could affect me.
2. It's VERY small. Same issue as Erie. While there are a decent amount of runners while the half marathoners are out there, once they are gone, it is going to clear out.
3. It's closed off from traffic until mile 19. Same issue as Erie. My crew won't be able to meet me anywhere on the course until mile 19. That could be intense for me and it means I won't be able to get my typical handoff at the half.
4. Past runners have complained about 19-26.2. Apparently there is a stretch of flat, out in the hot sun with traffic whooshing by once you hit 19 and apparently this is difficult to handle after all of the down hill.
5. Cost. Clearly this race is going to involve a plane flight and multiple hotel stays in addition to the fact that the race is more expensive. While that alone wouldn't deter me, it seems silly to not factor that in.
So those are what I'm considering right now. Obviously everything could go out the window depending on the cutoff date announced by Boston, and additional races could come into the mix if it is late enough. Depending on the date, I have a few others that I have in the back of my mind:
1. Airforce Marathon - Dayton, Ohio
2. Huntsville Marathon - Huntsville, Utah
3. Capital City - Lansing, Michigan
Have you run any of these? What did you think? Or are you looking at another option for qualifying in the fall for Boston 2017? Let me know what you are looking at!
Yesterday was the big day! The result of 5 months of hard training with big goals in mind. The race weekend started up on Friday with me knocking out the last of my taper runs and heading to the expo to get my packet and buy some race swag! I met up with my run club that night for a party and got lots of advice and learned the locations of all my club members on course. I made sure to get a good sleep on Friday night since that was the night where sleep mattered. On Saturday, I met up with my club to drop off supplies which they would hand off to me on course, to chat and have coffee, and to plan race morning with my running partner. I then headed home to eat lunch and take my pre-race walk. Since it was pouring, I walked through my building, through the halls, and down to the ground floor. I relaxed most of the day, other than gathering up my stuff, and I ate my standard pre-race pasta with red meat and sauce, and toast along with a glass of Nuun. I prepped my music, read through my favorite running quotes, and headed off to bed early.
The morning for me started at 4am since I like to get my food in 3 hours prior to the race. I ate my typical 3 pieces of gluten free toast, banana, nuun and coffee. I KT-taped up, and sat there checking the forecast. It looked pretty bleak with temps around 38 degrees that would only climb to about 42, 80% chance of rain, and 18 mph winds. I finally settled on wearing my singlet with my arm sleeves after I stood on my balcony for a while in the weather to see how it felt. My running partner picked me up at 5:20 and we headed for downtown, dodging the road closures along the way. We went to his office to hang out and use the private bathrooms and then left for the start line at 6:20. It actually stopped raining on the walk and the temps didn't feel too bad. I handed off my drop bag and we headed over to the corrals. I said hello to a few people I knew, listened to the national anthem, and got into a good place in the corral. They brought out Mayor Jackson to do the count down, and then the gun went off and Cleveland Rocks! started playing. We worked our way up to the start from corral B and we were off!
I started off with my running partner Mike (gray shirt, blue shoes) and another club member Rich (Blue t-shirt over green shirt with blue sweats). The plan was for Mike to hang with me for the first 13.1 (at least, because he was coming off of an injury) and then hang with Rich for the rest (because he was aiming for a 3:30-3:35). Having the two of them with me was amazing. Because they both are former (and still) speedsters with over 40 marathons of experience between them, they were constantly guiding me and giving me tips. It was split to this side of the road, don't round the corner too tight or you will hit a puddle, drink now, gel now, your pace is fine, don't worry about catching the pacers. I didn't have to think, I was just running. At mile 1.69 I saw my mom and she snapped pics of us. We continued on and right around 2.50 miles it started to hail. Yes, hail! I have never ran in hail before and I actually started laughing because I was like, of course, I wouldn't expect anything else from Cleveland! The wind was also picking up (later we would find out it was 25 mph-28mph winds), but I reminded myself that I had trained in this wind and to push on.
The hail continued to fall as we crossed the Lorain-Carnegie bridge, which is a subtle but sizeable gradual hill and has been challenging in the past. The difference this year, was that I trained on this bridge. I charged up the hill at 7:45/mile, somewhat losing Mike, but he caught back up on the downhill. When we entered Tremont, I saw members of Moms Run This Town that I know and they cheered me on. I kicked up the pace and Mike came along. Rich had stoppped to lose a layer at that point and I was unsure of where he was. As we worked our way through several turns in Tremont, Mike reminded me of the hill out of that part of the city and to prepare myself for it. We came to the hill and the streets were lined with people and I was able to cruise up the hill. At that point it was raining and we were around mile 5.5. I recognized the point in the course last year where I hit the wall early in the crazy heat and felt fantastic that I was feeling good.
Rich caught back up as we headed down a big hill and onto a road called Train Ave. It can also be called a road I never want to run again. This was about a 2 mile stretch which was isolated, had no houses, no spectators, was a nice wind tunnel, and was a long uphill. The hail picked back up and it was actuall painful as it hit me in the face and eyes. The headwind made it difficult to push up the hill, but with Rich at my side, and Mike hanging closely behind, we pushed through, on pace right at or under an 8 minute mile. When we got to the top of the hill, I knew Mike was no longer with us, but I didn't look back to see how far, and Rich and I pushed on. It was about mile 10.5 and we hung a right onto Detroit Avenue, and we were just blasted with a headwind blowing hail and rain into our faces. I had to look sideways as I was running and I was just trying to stay upright. Rich fell behind and I pushed on, holding pace. That stretch was miserable and it was just me and one other girl out there running together. I knew I would see my mom and my run club members with my Nuun and my gel at mile 11 and I used that as motivation. Soon I saw a pink sign and I threw my arms up in the air and so did they and I knew it was them. They cheered for me and I ran to them and they made the handoff and I took off down the street.
The half marathoners were gone at this point and I was alone without Mike or Rich. I knew I wasn't going to see anyone I knew until mile 15 and I knew I was going to pass my building at mile 13.5 which was going to be rough since the wind was intense and the hail/snow mix was still falling. I pushed myself to get to 13.1 and (on my watch) I broke my half marathon PR by about 20 seconds. We were on Lake Ave. at that point and it was a wind tunnel and we were fighting a head wind, hail, snow, and rain. Additionally, my music cut out at the half because my phone got wet and it switched from shuffle to play in order and once my playlist ended, so did the music. I couldn't get the music back on because my gloves were soaked. I tried to use Siri but my phone was in airplane mode so that didn't work either. I pushed on without it.
Around mile 15, I saw the motor cycles coming and I knew it was the lead runner on his way back. I whooped and jumped up and down cheering for him and others followed along. I kept that up for about the first 5 and then for the 6th, I saw my insta-friend Joseph cruising! I pointed at him and cheered and he pointed right back at me. Soon, I saw the lead female and I cheered for her yelling You Go Lady! and she looked humbled and waved and smiled back at me. Shortly after, I saw my club members and they cheered for me as I passed by.
After that I focused back in on my race and noticed my quads were trying to cramp and I pulled out a tiny plastic bag where I keep my race meds (immodium, alleve, and a nuun tab). I tried to get the Nuun tab out (so I could chew it and have instant electrolytes) but with soaked gloves on the run I couldn't do it myself. I ran up to a random man and asked him to help and he undid it for me. I grabbed it, gratiously thanked him, and pushed on, throwing the tab into my mouth. I must have looked like a rabid dog because my mouth was foaming, but the cramping stopped almost instantly. I was around mile 17 and I knew I was still on pace for my BQ, but even though the cramping stopped, my legs were still stiff and my hips were locking up in the cold and wind. I pushed on, recognizing the course from my training runs, and we finally turned onto the bridge to Rocky River and I knew we were nearing the turn around and the wind would be at my back.
Near 18, the 3:35 group passed me (as I was beginning to expect) and I decided to just stay on pace for my PR and maybe try to pick it up later. I then saw members of my run club and my mom, which gave me a big pick up and I knew I'd see them in about .2 miles because I could see the turn around. The hail and wind were awful at that point but once we rounded the turn, it was at my back and I felt so recharged and began to pick it back up.
On my way out of Rocky River, I saw my running partner holding right around the 3:45 pace group and he yelled to me to focus on a PR. Shortly afterwards, I saw Jonathan (another club member) and we cheered for each other. A little later, I saw his wife, Jessica and we cheered for each other too, and I knew she was on track for a PR based on where she was. I was feeling pretty good at that point with the wind at my back and the hail stopping. As we crossed the 30k and then mile 19 it started raining again. I told myself to push, knowing that my club members were waiting at mile 20. By the time I saw my club at 20, I was hurting because my stomach was starting to churn up on me. They told me I looked great and only 10k to go. I pushed through and kept going and soon I was passing my building as the rain and hail continued to fall. It was so tempting to go inside to my apartment.
Around 22 I saw another Instagram friend, Jill, and she cheered me on, which helped me power on a little further. However, at that point, my stomach was seriously unhappy and I knew I had to stop. I found the portapotties right at mile 22.5 before we got onto the shoreway. Both were full and I waited about 2+ minutes for them to open when finally, volunteers came out of both of them. ***RANT --- I'm sorrry but I really don't think volunteers should be taking up the only two portapotties for miles at the same time when the main pack of runners are trying to come through**** Anyways, I was in and out in probably under a minute and I picked it right back up as we headed onto the shoreway. The bathroom break made me feel a lot better and I pushed on, knowing I would see club members at mile 24. I pushed on to them and they cheered me on as I kept going.
I finally got my music back on because it finally stopped raining and my gloves were somewhat dryer. I held my phone in my hand so I could easily switch songs if necessary. Having the music helped me to push through the last couple miles even though the wind became instense in the last mile out on the open highway. As I headed down the last hill off of the shoreway I saw Maureen, a club member who did the half, and she cheered for me and snapped a picture. Seeing her picked me up. I hurdled a dead rat (lol) and rounded the corner and could see the finish line as I crossed mile 26. I let the crowds lift me up and allowed the other runners to pull me in. I managed to kick it in the last tenth of a mile and I crossed the finish at 3:48.13! That was a 7 minute PR for me. I also felt good after crossing, unlike in Detroit where I cramped up and needed the medical tent. I got my finisher medal, space blanket, and tons of bananas and food and made my way to my family.
I hung out after by the finish and waited for Mike to come in. In the meantime, I ran into Will, another instagram friend, who came in shortly after I did. We snapped a pic together. Soon after, Mike came in and we hugged and celebrated our finishes. I ran into a couple other friends, Denise and Craig, from the 20 mile drop, and we congratulated each other. I headed over to get changed with Mike, Maureen, and another club member, Dave. We weren't sure where Rich was, but we needed to get changed before hypothermia set in. My mom literally had to change me because my hands were so numb and Mike had to give me a pair of socks to use as gloves since my were soaked. We then headed over to grab our free beers and lounge in the sun that had actually come out! Rich texted me to let me know that at 13, he turned back and turned the race into an 18 mile training run. We hung out for a little and talked about the race and then everyone headed home, and we planned to head to Rocky River Brewing Company to celebrate at the post-race party thrown by Second Sole Rocky River.
While I didn't come out of the race with my goal of qualifying for Boston, I am in no way unhappy. I battled some of the toughest race conditions that I have ever had to face in a race, especially in a full marathon. It rained, snowed, hailed, sleeted, and the temps were in the low 30s with the wind chill plus the 25+mph winds. Yet, I came out on top with a 7 minute PR and I broke 3:50, which means I am whittling away at my qualifying time. Additionally, I was on pace for a BQ through mile 18, which tells me a lot about how close I am to what I want to do. Finally, I learned I was the 94th female, which is kinda cool because I cracked the top 100 women! There was a lot out of my control in this race, between the weather and my stomach issues, but that is the beauty of running a marathon. You just have to tough it out, push through, and try to do your best. I'm definitely on a high from this race and I can't wait to start running again, but I will be taking some good time off to let my body recover because I need to be fresh before I start training again!
T-minus 2 days until the Cleveland Marathon and the taper-crazies are in full swing! Insane hunger, cravings, race nightmares, lack of focus, phantom injuries, mood swings, just to name a few. I'm in full glycogen depletion mode right now, and tomorrow I will start adding them back in. I decided I would share my meals this week to show how I carb deplete for races.
Day 6 (Monday) - Breakfast: 3 egg whites with spinach and 2 turkey sausage links; Lunch: Greek Yogurt, Veggie Burger, Cheese Stick, Apple, Pretzels; Dinner: Spinach Salad with shrimp, black beans, corn and cheddar cheese
Day 5 (Tuesday) - Breakfast: Greek yogurt and a spoonful of peanut butter; Lunch: Greek Yogurt, Spinach Salad with chicken sausage and black beans, Cheese Stick, Apple, Pretzels, celery and peanut butter; Dinner: Black bean burger, guacamole, two corn tortillas; Snack: Cereal
Day 4 (Wednesday) - Breakfast: 3 egg whites with spinach and 2 turkey sausage links; Lunch: Greek Yogurt, spinach salad with chicken sausage and black beans, Cheese Stick, Apple, Pretzels, celery and peanut butter, Cheese Stick, Apple, Pretzels; Dinner: Burger on gluten free toast with spinach and avocado; Snack: Luna Bar
Day 3 (Thursday) - Breakfast: Greek yogurt and a spoonful of peanut butter; Lunch: Greek Yogurt, Spinach Salad with chicken sausage and black beans, Cheese Stick, Apple, Pretzels, celery and peanut butter; Dinner: Balsalmic Chicken, roasted broccoli, baked sweet potato fries; Snack: Luna Bar
Day 2 (Friday) - Breakfast: 3 egg whites with spinach and 2 pieces of toast; Lunch: Greek Yogurt; Spinach Salad with chicken sausage and black beans, Cheese Stick, Apple, Pretzels, celery and peanut butter; Dinner: Pasta with Chicken
Day 1 (Saturday) - Breakfast: 3 egg whites and toast; Lunch: Rice with chicken; Dinner: Spaghetti with red sauce and ground beef; Snack: Cereal
The expo is tomorrow and I can feel my wallet hurting already. I've definitely been working hard on my mental game this week since this is the point where doubts try to kick in. So I thought I'd share some things I have been working on during taper to prepare myself for the race!
The 12 Mantras I will be repeating during the race when things get rough:
1. Your mind will quit a thousand times before your body will. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
2. Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes
3. Even when you have gone as far as you can and everything hurts, and you are staring at the spector of self doubt, you can find a bit more strength deep inside of you, if you look closely enough.
4. It's going to be hard, but hard is not impossible.
6. In training, you listen to your body. In competition, you tell your body to shut up.
7. Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing. Just do it.
8. When I reach my breaking point I tell myself that the race begins here. Every step I take now is what really counts.
9. Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call upon your spirit, which fortunately functions independent of logic.
10. Today I will feel the burn in my legs. I will fight the urge to want to quit. I will breathe heavily and become so sore where it hurts to walk. I will give it my all and my everything. I willput in 110 percent effort and no one will stop me.
11. The thirst you feel in your throat and lungs will be gone minutes after the race is over. The pain in your legs, within days. But the glory of your finish will last forever.
I also thought I would share my top 12 power songs. I have a lot of favorites on my running playlist, but these are the ones with lyrics that always push me through when the going gets tough.
1. Till I Collapse - Eminem ("Cause sometimes you just feel tired, Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up. But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength. And just pull that $*#! out of you and get that motivation to not give up. And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.")
2. Just Like Fire - P!nk ("We can get 'em running running, running...Just like fire, burning out the way, If I can light the world up for just one day")
3. Bang My Head - Sia and Fetty Wap ("Though I feel light headed, now I know I will not fall, I will rise above it all")
4. Dream - LeCrae ("So I dream, I Dream, I dream...")
5. Can't Hold Us - Macklemore ("Tonight is the night, we'll fight 'til it's over, So we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us")
6. Let It Go - Frozen ("it's time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through..")
7. Stronger - Kanye West ("N-now th-that that don't kill me, can only make me stronger")
8. Heart of a Champion - Nelly ("Ain't no way they can stop me now, cause I'm on my way, I can feel my ring comin, it's the blood of a champion.")
9. Centuries - Fall Out Boy ("Some legends are told, Some turn to dust or to gold, But you will remember me, Remember me for centuries.")
10. Alive - Sia ("I'm still breathing, I'm still breathing, I'm alive")
11. Remember the Name - Fort Minor ("This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will, Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain, and a hundred percent reason to remember the name.")
12. Fight Song - Rachel Platten ("My power's turned on, starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song, and I don't really care if nobody else believes, 'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me")
And the song I will be starting the race with? Till I Die by Machine Gun Kelly because it's about Cleveland!
That will probably be it for me on here until after the race! It's been a long training cycle, but I'm ready and I know I will have my training partner with me for at least 13 miles of it, plus some other people strategically placed to meet me. The weather looks pretty good as of now. Only thing left to do is to get my packet and take on 26.2 miles!
That's it! Yesterday wrapped up my training for the Cleveland Marathon! Just 3 short taper runs this week and only 7 days till the race. This week was a lot lower in mileage, although it still had some hard workouts and was pretty fast overall. Looking forward to babying my legs this week and taking it easy.
Monday - Mile Repeats
Even though I did mile repeats on Monday, I only did a couple as my last speed work of the training cycle. Four miles total with 2 repeats under 7 minutes/mile. 1 mile warm-up at 8:20/mile, 2x1 mile repeats at 6:45 and 6:50, 1 mile cool down at 8:13. 7:30 average for the whole thing. Followed up with plank streak day 87: one 8 minute plank and one 2 minute plank.
Tuesday - 6 Easy Miles
Okay, so they weren't as easy as they should have been but they weren't too bad either. This was due to the fact that I did the whole thing on the marathon course and that pumped me up. 8:24/mile and I ended my run at the 21 mile marker on the course. Plank streak day 88: one 6 minute and one 4 minute plank.
Wednesday - 4 Miles at Race Pace
I was supposed to do my four mile run at race pace (per the instructions of my running partner) but I ended up a little too fast. 7:48/mile average. The helped boost my mental confidence by reminding me that I'm comfortable at race pace, but can still kick it up if necessary. Plank streak day 89 - two 5 minute planks.
Thursday - 4 Miles at Race Pace
Set out for another 4 at race pace on Thursday which would be a good test of back-to-back race pace days and trying for race pace on tired legs. I was pretty accurate on this one with 4 miles at 7:55/mile. Plank streak day 90 was 5 minutes.
Saturday - 10 Mile Long Run - Negative Split
The goal of the "long" run this week was to take the first half easy and kick it up on the way back. My running partner and I had different plans when we started though, taking the first half faster than expected (most were 8:26-8:30 except the first mile which was closer to 9). We decided to hold to that pace and just notch it up slightly. We ended up coming back at 8:20-8:30 with the last mile right at 8:00. It was a great workout to end the training cycle. Plank streak day 92 was 5 minutes.
So that's a wrap! 28 miles at 8:09 average to round out the week and 1 hour of planking! I will be starting my carb depletion tomorrow and I will be getting all my marathon essentials and pre-race routines together! I have some big goals for the Cleveland Marathon and it's time to put all this hard work and training to the test!
Happy Sunday! It's finals week for me, which means that 2 exams stand between me and graduating from law school! EEk! That's so crazy for me to believe. But it also means that we are only 2 short weeks away from the Cleveland Marathon and that I have officially entered taper. This week still was pretty high in mileage but with less speed work and easier runs thrown in. Next week will definitely bring some lower mileage. I also hit a new plank PR of 14 minutes. This week also wrapped up the month of April for me with 163.2 miles and 4 hours, 19 minutes, and 30 seconds of planking.
Monday - 7 Miles
Monday was a stressful day for me so I ran on feel and wanted to burn off that stress. I knew that meant logging a few more miles so I ended up doing 7 miles at 8:25/mile. I also hit plank streak day 80 for 10 total minutes.
Tuesday - Speed
On Tuesday I wanted to work in speed and hills. I set off with a 1 mile "warm up" around an 8 minute mile. I kicked up the next 4 miles, holding beteen a 7:40 and a 7:50, and throwing in several long gradual hills (i.e. what I will face near the end of Cleveland) at mile 4-4.75 and again at the end. Mile 5.5-6.2 I slowed back to near an 8 minute mile. ^.2 miles total at 7:50/mile. Plank streak day 81 was 8 minutes.
I wanted to run on comfort on Wednesday, so I just kinda set out to explore some new routes. It was nice and sunny but pretty chilly with serious headwinds for the second half of my run. I ended up finding the 30km mark for the Cleveland Marathon which was exciting and also stressful because it reminded me how close we are. I ended up with 6.2 miles at 8:21/mile and plank streak day 82 was 11 minutes total.
Thursday - Easy Miles
I made myself stay on the treadmill again on Thursday so that I would have to run slower and not overdo anything. I did 6.2 at 8:44/mile with a negative split, kicking it up a little at the end. Plank streak day 83 was 6 minutes.
Friday - Rest Day and Plank PR
Took my weekly rest day on Friday and while doing plank streak day 84, once I hit 10 minutes I decided to try for a new PR. I ended up getting a new one of 14 minutes. I also need to start using my yoga mat more because my elbows have started bleeding from planking on carpet.
Saturday - 16 Mile Long Run
For my long run, my running partner and I started early and logged 7 miles before meeting the club at about 8:20/mile. Once we met up with the club we did about 4.5 with the club at about 8:45/mile, before they turned off. We then wrapped up the last 4.5 miles at about 8:55/mile, with the last mile at closer to an 8:15 and my finishing kick was 7:45/mile. This run brough great conversation with my running partner and the club. It also sounds like I have officially convinced him and others that I am capable of my goal time in Cleveland.
So that was how the last week of really hard training wrapped up! 41.6 miles at 8:31/mile and 1 hour and 3 minutes of planking. Bring on the taper!!