The view from my turnaround point at the end of the Aquatic Park breakwater.
Today was the last day of the third week of my training cycle for the California International Marathon. The day’s regimen called for 20km (12.4 miles) at marathon pace. I ran 11.94 miles in 1:26:22 for a 7:14/mile clip. Not as fast as my last half marathon, but right on the pace target for the 3:10:59 chip time I’ll need to qualify for Boston in my age group.
And that was in busy tourist traffic through SOMA and Fisherman’s Wharf via the Embarcadero. Also, I was at a 7:05 pace in the last mile, my 49th in six of seven days over the last week. As I eased out of my rest break, I did 20.5 mostly aerobic miles before starting the cycle. Week one was 34.5 over five days, which was already about as much as I’d done in the peak week ahead of the last CIM. The previous week was 41.5 over six days.
I have to admit, the heavy mileage is taking its toll. I haven’t dealt with this much pain and stiffness in my ankles during recovery since the peak of my last triathlon training peak. There were a couple of times that my left achilles and then my left hamstring felt near to bursting. I focused on a balanced, fluid stride for the discomfort and easy breathing for the fear.
You know what also helps? A third of an apple pie drowning in molasses and brown sugar custard cream to come home to.
The new Merrells are starting to get comfortable — the stiff, scratchy edge of the heel cup still rubbing the back of my ankles raw, but that searing pain fades pretty quickly and I’m sure if the problem persists I can fix it with duct tape or something. But the footbed is starting to form up nicely, and the extra cushion did feel like it afforded me some relief into the later miles.
I’ll probably take a rest day tomorrow, and then I’ll be back at the top of the three week cycle again. This time I’ll probably try to push the short runs a little longer to inch the overall mileage up, and make sure to fit in at least 16-18 moderate miles on the longest day since I haven’t pushed that boundary this time around yet.