Saturday 16.0 miles/2:21:41/8:51 average pace
After a less-than-stellar week, I was nervous about this long run. I was specifically worried about that dang side stitch, and I was generally worried about my skill as a runner. This is what happens to me during the taper.
I realized at some point yesterday morning that I was basically dealing with some kind of attitude problem. I had "runner's block." My head was filled with negative thoughts, doubt, and anxiety. The good news is that I realized this. I actively pushed aside the negative thoughts and forced myself to think positive. Literally, I thought "This is going to suck..." and immediately replaced it with "I'm going to do great." Just saying the words to myself, and intercepting the negative thoughts, worked perfectly. I had a great run. I was denying my body permission to run well. Not that I think I gave myself that side stitch, although maybe I did, but there's an incredible mind-body connection. Finally, after almost three years of running, I am aware of this and I realize that I am in control.
Zach and I drove up to the Lafayette-Moraga trail, which is a pretty but somewhat hilly run. He did the first 11 miles with me. :) I ran a huge negative split, which I owe partly to the course - I ran the hard hills at the beginning of the run.
I did the first 8 miles in 1:13:20, a 9:10 average pace.
The last 8 miles took me 1:08:21, five full minutes faster, for a 8:33 average pace. That isn't skewed by any fast miles either, I was pretty consistent 8:20-8:40.
Yesterday after my fantastic run, and while rejoicing in my new positive attitude, I thought about Boston, and my goals there. Of course my #1 goal is to have fun. I don't really care exactly how fast or slow I go, but I want to enjoy every mile. I feel confident that I can do this. :) Specifically, I plan to start the race at a comfortable pace, saving myself for the hills in the last half. I plan to take a pace of about 8:30 ish and assuming it feels easy, hang there for the first half. If all goes well, I will run strong through the hills and to the finish and finish around 3:40-3:45. So I guess my goal is to get a second-best time (that is, beat my 3:45 Avenue of the Giants time). If it's a dream day, I'll get the BQ, but I'm not going to really plan for that. Low 3:40's would definitely please me. If the early miles don't feel easy, if it really just isn't that kind of day, I will back off the pace and do my best. I know Boston is a tough course, but I'm a good runner. I'm not that fast, but I'm consistent, I'm smart, and I'm freaking queen of the negative split. My goal is to prove this at Boston. :) And to have the experience of a lifetime.
We went swimming today, I did 20 laps = 1000 meters in about 32 minutes. It was so fun, Zach and I shared a lane - he swam his 1000 without stopping :O in just over 20 minutes. Holy moly! I definitely stopped to rest, but not too much. I swam slow and focused on my form and felt strong.
I actually swam and ran the same number of times this week. Obviously ran a lot longer each time though.
TOTAL miles for week 3: 34.5
PLUS 3x swimming for a total of 2500 meters, and 2x upper body and core weights.