A Step Back Week

I just finished this week’s long run!  And it didn’t even seem that long because it was a step back week!  I want to keep trying to get in more mileage and longer runs, but this week was perfect for a shorter long run.  How’s that for an oxymoron?  I thought today was supposed to be 12 miles, but the longest Coach Brendan had anyone going today was 10 so I just went with that.

I did the entire run today with Mac and another guy, Dave.  Dave was quite a talker which was good for me today because then I didn’t have to do as much talking but had someone to listen to so that my mind wasn’t just wandering.  He seems to be a very knowledgeable runner and knew at least 10 people we passed by on the lakefront path.  I asked him how he knew SO many people out running today.  Dave said he worked for the Chicago Marathon up until this past May so he has met so many runners through the various charity and training groups…not to mention that he has been running in Chicago for years and years.  I would love to have a job with the Chicago Marathon or something running related.  He said he worked a lot of hours…but I think I could handle that after going through tax busy seasons and at least it’d be focusing on something I’d enjoy and not just preparing tax returns.

We talked a lot about marathon training paces and distances.  Coach Brendan had a conversion chart to see your goal marathon pace and how fast you should be running other race distances like a 5k, 10k or half marathon.  I think these type of charts could be generally helpful but I also don’t want to get too hung up on it because the marathon is just one day.  You never know what the weather conditions will be like or how you’ll be feeling that particular day.

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You can definitely tell that everyone is kicking their marathon training into gear now. (This picture was taken way back in March or April when it was colder and nobody was really out on the path.)  There were no bikers on the path this morning, I’m sure they all know how crowded it is with runners on Saturday mornings now so they stay away.  There were tons of people out running either alone or with various training groups.  Some of the training groups had soooo many people and were running in lines, two by two.  That would not work well for me, but I can see how it’d be helpful for any new runners to have such a large group to stick with and socialize with.

The 3 of us were going at a nice conversational pace that was perfect for a longer run and stopped at a few of the Fleet Feet aid stations set up along the path for Gatorade and water.  We did 10.5 miles in 1:27.  Coach Brendan was telling us the importance of having these step back weeks in both mileage and pace and I think this was the perfect week for it.  Once again, I would not have been able to do this on my own.  It was hard to get myself up at 5:15am to meet the group but otherwise I would’ve slept in and either not ran at all or not ran as long, especially because it is starting to get HOT.

Now it’s time for post-run brunch with Catherine and Steph!!  I hope this happens every Saturday.  Mac was heading right to Crossfit after the long run, but I think I like the idea of brunch better.

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