A full month has passed since I started training for the Akron Marathon - crazy! While things have not gone perfectly, I'm starting to get into the routine of five days running and two for recovery. I think I may just stick with this training pattern for future races.
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: Speed Work - With the local track still closed for refurbishing, I continue to be relegated to the park loop for any and all speed work. While I don't mind running there, especially since I was doing 800 repeats, the course does present two challenges: slight incline and geese. The small hills make running at mile pace a little difficult, but add on to that the fact that the geese like to occupy the pathway with an obligatory hiss toward anyone who approaches. I had to do some improvising to make do while accepting that all that could be asked of me was my best. On a positive note, an older gentleman saw I was struggling with the water fountain and offered me a cold water - sweet!
Wednesday: 4 Miles - Like most runners, I tend to follow the same course on recovery days since I know the distance landmarks by heart and don't have to think too much about where I'm going. Because of this repetition, I've become accustom to where the various canines are along the route. However, one of my fears, even when I prepare myself for the barking that will ensue near particular houses, is that the dogs will not be leashed leading them to give chase as I go by. Well, this was one of those runs in which that took place. Even though her owner was with her outside, the dog still barked and bolted up to the berm of the road coming within a few feet of me. And for the record, saying, "She just wants to play!" does not do anything to ease a runner's anxiety that the dog may attack. When situations like this happen, I have gotten into the habit of walking until the dog is out of sight. While it may mess with my pace a bit, it seems to keep the canines from following me.
Thursday: 8 Miles - As always, the long run for the week is my favorite. As the mileage continues to increase, I've started to piece together various routes to meet the workout distance. In some ways, this is a reason for why I enjoy these runs since they change up the routine. I just need to work on pacing as I've finished these workouts more out of breath and tired than I should be.
Friday - 4 Miles - For this recovery run, I chose one of my "flatter" (relatively speaking) routes. Though courses that involve turns and change of scenery are great, sometimes a straight path out and back is nice.
Saturday - Speed Work - Well, the time had finally come for my first fartlek workout. The routine was fairly simple going from 1-3 minutes alternating easy and hard effort. After completing the rotation twice, I was pretty wiped! But, I guess that's the goal of these workouts!
Sunday: Rest Day
Another great week in the books! Now, next week is going to be a little different due to a major change in routine. More details to follow in the Week 6 recap.