12/5- New phase of training begins today and it has gotten off to a good start. 8 miles at 3:10 marathon pace. Finished with a time of 58:07 (7:16 avg) with nice splits. I never went over 7:24 and every mile in the 2nd half was below 7:20. 1st half: 29:17, 2nd half: 28:50. I'm not too excited yet. The pace was fast today because I haven't done anything in 60 hours with the exception of the junk run yesterday. I expect to pass 2K miles by the middle of next week. Added a half mile cool as an emotional tribute to Ochocinco. I'll likely be inside for the next 2 days because of bad weather. I'm okay with that especially in the darkest time of the year.
12/6- 8 miles indoors this time at base training effort. Time was a solid 60:22 (7:33 pace). Just a slight fade in the 2nd half (30:05-30:17) but that's only 3 ticks difference. My basic paces will slow as the miles pile up and that's fine. Strong performance. I can see myself doing 55 MPW comfortably for 7 weeks. There won't be much speed but that will come in the next phase. Finished with another "moving tribute" to Ochocinco. Hit 1950 on the year.
12/7- HOT! Fast finish 7 miler with an overall time of 48:50 (6:58 pace). First 4 miles were nearly effortless in 29:25 (7:21 pace) then turned it up to tempo effort with a 19:25 last 3 (6:28 pace). This will probably be the only real speed that I do this week but that's okay. Heck, I bet that I could have gone sub-20 if I had run a full 5K and started a kick earlier. Again this was after a 4 miles @ 7:21 with no rest in between. 1 Mile cool and no tribute.
12/8- Easy 6 at Vestavia track in 45:00 (7:30 pace). Smooth and relaxed all the way through. Nice even pace with nothing over 7:34 or under 7:25. Marathon training is not too glamorous but the miles look good at the end of the week. Temp was near 40 but at least it wasn't rainy or windy and it was good to run outside again.
12/9- AM indoor 3 in 21:44 (7:15 pace) plus a short cool down. Getting up in the morning during the week is half the battle and once again, I had to cut it short to get to work on time. That's okay, I only planned to do 4 anyway and I can just do a 5 minute parking lot junk run to make up the shortfall. A fast pace is acceptable on a short run like this. Got progressively faster (7:22-7:14-7:08) without trying to pick up the pace. The penalty comes from not getting up on time to make this a relaxed easy 4 or 5.
12/10- Planned rest day for the LIFE retreat. The Gnomes are running at 5 AM today and the sun doesn't even rise until 6:30. I sure hope nobody gets hurt. Best of luck to those running Huntsville today. I've got my LONG run scheduled for tomorrow.
12/11- First and possibly only 20 miler of the year. Finished in 2:30:57 (7:33 pace). Route was a quadruple out and back on Lakeshore on a pleasant 50 degree afternoon. Boring? Maybe but I never had to stop for traffic, only for drinking.
1st 5: 37:30, 2nd 5: 37:31, 3rd 5: 37:40, 4th 5: 38:16. Slowest mile was the 19th at 7:52 but bounced back with a 7:17 in Mile 20. Most of that came in the final quarter mile. A bit of foot pain but I can fix that with prolo if need be. I have no doubt that I can go below 3:30 for a full mary. 3:20 will be a challenge. Overall, not as strong as my 18 miler but still very solid.
Highest mileage of the year and I am feeling the effects of these paces. I fully expect that the paces will slow down next week. I have only a week and a half to go until the Christmas cut back. I have no plans to go over this mileage. I believe that my GPA is the highest of the year. I have only 6 weeks of quality training until Austin. I sure hope I can survive it. Year to date: 1988 miles. 2 workouts away from 2,000.