12/24- Easy 6 on Jefferson Trail. Standard issue run with nothing overly exciting to report. Finished in 44:30 (7:25 pace). 1st half was 22-flat and the 2nd half was 22:30 but the trail is sloped so it was actually a fairly even pace. A bit of foot soreness. Dosage may be trending down slightly. I want to keep it high until my numbers get in line. Decent workout. Good enough for 3.3 points. All I need is a "C-" on my next workout to clinch the 3.00.
12/25- Planned rest day. Merry Christmas to all.
12/26- The clincher! It turned out to be a rather forgettable and uninspiring workout. Finished only 3 miles in a time of 22:51 (7:37 pace). Just barely met the minimum criteria for a real workout as opposed to a junk run. I'm sure that I could have gone another 3 at this pace but I chose not to (Slacker)! My excuse was that my trip back to Birmingham was VERY hectic and my heart was not into the workout. I just wanted to go back home and relax. I expect to be fine tomorrow but if I wake up deathly ill and can't run for the rest of the week, I will still finish at 3.00 for the year. Also, this meager workout will allow me to rest on 12/31 without a penalty. A win this week would be my 34th of the year, which would be a personal record and an important one as well. I'll explain why in my year end post.
12/27- OUTSTANDING! Long tempo, which was one of my key workouts for a half mary. I've run 6 miles at goal pace then followed it up with a fast Mile or even a fast quarter mile and found it to be a good predictor for race day. It gave me confidence that I would have plenty left at the halfway point. Today, I tried something different. 6 miles at goal pace (slightly slower than tempo) then try to find another gear and hold it for a full 2 miles. Hit 6 miles in 40:11 (6:42 pace), just a hair slower than my 6 mile split in Austin. 6 miles at that pace is nothing special but what followed is. I DID find another gear. In fact, I found 2. Mile 7 was a 6:30 and Mile 8 was a 6:20 with a sub-6 pace over the final quarter mile. Overall time was 53:01 for 8 miles (6:38 pace). Even if I slowed to 7:15 pace over the last 5, I still break 1:30. Cool down tribute. A key workout that puts me on track for win #34. Need a decent long run.
12/28- Chilly rain forced me inside. Easy 5 in 37:06 (7:25 pace). Legs were a little sore from yesterday but nothing out of the ordinary. Even pace and I actually was holding back a bit to make sure it was over 37. I have just 12 hours to rest up for my long run tomorrow. Passed 2,050 on the year. I expect to finish between 2,070-2,075. GPA will be 3.03-3.06 and I'm still on track for a win this week.
12/29- Back with the Gnomes. Tough conditions out there (upper 30s, 15mph wind) but I was strong. 13 miles on a hilly route in a time of 1:34:28 (7:16 pace). That would be a 3:10:xx full mary and short of a BQ but I was still pleased with this one. Mile 13 (mostly downhill) was my fastest at 6:28. Kept it all under 7:38 (3:20 mary pace) even on the tough uphill sections. Most miles were 7:20ish if the terrain was fairly level. Added a half mile cool.
12/30- Lakeshore 6.5 in 45:17 (6:58 pace). Felt no harder than marathon effort. I looked down at my watch at the end of Mile 2 and saw a 6:39 split and could not believe it. From there, I backed off a bit but still maintained sub-marathon pace the rest of the way. Weather conditions were sunny and chilly but not too windy. It was okay to be fast because I'm resting tomorrow.
Grade:A+/ 1 credit/distance=7.0
12/31- Victory formation. The quarterback takes a knee to kill the clock. Final training stats were 2,072 miles. Finished with a record of 34-16 with a 3.06 GPA. The mileage total is not a PR but the weekly record and GPA are both my best.
Win #34, which means that overall, I was healthier than last year by a hair. What a finish for the week! Strong tempo, a quality long run while showing no signs of fatigue. I still feel terrible without the pills. Over the next few weeks, I hope to be less dependent on them. If I am still taking the same things with success at the time of Mercedes (mid-Feb), I will allow my hopes to rise but will not make any declarations of being healed until I get a good medical report (late March).