The heels still hurt, but seem to be holding up well without the orthotics. I did my the 20 miler on last Saturday and my speed session today without them. My heels weren't exactly pain free at the end of the 20 but they we much better than the week before with the orthotics. I will continue to monitor them. I ran 6 miles today at lunch and am no sitting here at home hours later with my feet on an icepack.
Now to the title of the post - Mental. As if running 20 miles isn't enough of a definition. The mental I'm referring too is mental focus. This program takes a good portion of that. I may be only running three days a week but each of those runs has a very specific sequence and pace associated with it. Just figuring out all the paces and then remembering them is a chore. Thank goodness for good notes.
Last week the night before I did my Tuesday speed work I had a dream that I got over to the river trail and then realized I had no idea what the workout was supposed to be. I was panicked. When I got up in the morning I wrote down all the specific and the paces and stuck it in my pocket. I reviewed it several times that morning to be sure I wouldn't forget. I even carried the note in my pocket while I ran an referred to it a couple of times to be sure I was hitting the paces.
The work out was 20 minute warm up, 2 x 1200 (2:00 RI), 4 x 800 (2:00 RI), and 10 minute cool down. I'd done the math to determine how time for each distance based on the per mile pace, because we all know I don't calculate well on the run.
Thursday run was a simple 5 miler at mid-temp pace which for me is 8:16-8:34. For me doing these runs requires a measured trail so I can keep track of my pace. I don't have a garmin so I really on the markings on the trail. Relying on these marks also limits my runs to at least waning daylight. This is why I've done a few of my speed runs during lunch. Thursday since the distance was less complicated I'd planned to leave work a little early to take advantage of the last few minutes of daylight. As often happens, things at work did not cooperate. This puts me in "bad place" and although a run would have cleared my head I knew I couldn't use the marked trail in the dark to meet my goals so I gave up the run. Major lack of mental focus.
I packed my stuff to give it another try on Friday afternoon and then opted out for fear of jeopardizing the 20 miler. Super duper lack of metal focus.
But today my calendar was clear and I got back out there at lunch for a similar speed session as the week before but this time with 6 x 800 (goal time 3:40). It was a beautifully warm (70 degree) and sunny day with very few folks on the trail. I was a happy camper. My paces on the intervals were 4:02 (I started off slow because I tend to start of too fast), 3:41, 3:36, 3:33, 3:36 and 3:45. Score a major victory for mental focus.
Hitting the mid week runs will be easier for the next three weeks since I have excess vacation to burn before year end so I'm taking half days on Tuesdays and Thursdays to get the job done. We'll see how focused I can be in 2011.
How much longer before the sun sets sometime around 6:00 pm?