At least I think they were good choices. This was the last "big" week of training before the LA Marathon on March 21. The week included a speed session with Yasso 800's and the longest long run.
Good Choice #1: The plan called for 10 miles with 10x800. I had a great time doing this workout last summer in preparation for the Heart of America Marathon, but I haven't done much in the way of speed work since then. I find it very difficult to muster up the concentration for those types of drills in the darkness of winter. For this one I opted to run it at lunch time on Wednesday. A meeting-less afternoon was assurance that my post run aroma would not offend anyone. Ten miles in really too much to squeeze into a lunch break, even and extended one. The first accommodation I made was to shorten the run to 8 miles. With the lack of speed work leading up to this, trying for 10x800 seemed unrealistic, so I cut it back to 5x800 and ran them in an average pace of 3:51. I had a 2 mile warm up and 2 mile cool down.
Good Choice #2: The long run for the weekend was a 22 miler that I'd scaled back to 20, weeks ago since the LA training was compressed a bit. I usually get my long runs in on Saturday morning. The weather gurus were calling for 100% chance of torrential downpours on Saturday. My original plan for the weekend was to hit the gym on Friday after work, run long on Saturday and then run short on Sunday. With the predicted weather I saw no reason to chance the rain. I don't mind running in the rain, but torrential just didn't seem necessary when Sunday's forecast called for clear skies.
When I got home Friday rather than going to the gym I put in the 6 easy miles scheduled for Sunday. Then on Saturday I went to the gym during one of the respites from the downpours. We had the strangest weather (at least for SoCal). We'd have torrential downpours, often with hail followed by bursts of sunshine, then drizzle then more downpours. This went on all day. I was glad I'd run on Friday night.
This morning the rain clouds had dispersed and the sun was shining brightly. It was a beautiful day for a 20 miler. The temperature was in the mid to high 50's. My friend Terry and I ran the Santa Ana River Trail. We kept up an 7:1 run:walk ratio. Around mile 11 Terry was feeling pretty wiped out so she fell behind, switching to a 5:1. I kept on alone and finished the 20 miles in a moderate 3:23 (10:09) pace. Terry wasn't too far behind. I felt really good, but it is runs like Terry had that make you wonder why we ever thought running marathons was a good idea.
Good Choice #3: Terry and I will likely run the LA Marathon together, shooting for a 4:05 finish. This will qualify Terry for Boston a second time and shouldn't be a stretch for me or put me under too much stress running a marathon that doesn't add to my 50 state goal. I'm looking forward to the weekend as Joe will be in town with his nephew from San Diego. It will be fun to hang out again. The next two weekends are relatively short runs of 15 and 12 and then its time for the big one. I'm happy to have entered the taper phase, yet again.