I had such a fun morning today -- I did my first double run day of the season in a most unusual way. Usually when training gets underway, I'll try to double up on runs about once a week. Sometimes I'll have a 3-workout day -- boot camp, followed by a run home, followed by an evening run. But that's pretty rare (though I should start doing it more often).
Well, today I did my double in a weird way -- two runs in a row.
I had my group run this morning, scheduled 9 miles with 5 of them at race pace. Given that we're just starting the strength phase of training, it felt tough. I'm not yet used to running at marathon pace. Marathon pace is kind of odd -- if you run shorter distances and then build up to long ones, race pace will feel slow -- and your long run pace will feel really slow. But if you get into the habit of running at your long run pace, and you have been in that mode for some time, race pace is about a minute per mile faster, and that gets to feel really hard. Well, unfortunately, given my spring marathon plan (running slow while carrying weight), I have gotten quite accustomed to slow, easy running. My long run pace even felt a bit fast, considering how slow I ran in the spring. Well, race pace now feels really fast. So to run 3 miles easy, 5 miles at race pace, and 1 mile easy, I felt like it had been a tough morning.
But instead of heading out to breakfast with friends or going home and loading up on my usual refuel breakfast, one of my favorite running friends and I got dropped off at the start of a big local race, and then we proceeded to run it. Only a 5k and we didn't run hard. But given what we'd just finished doing, it was tough!
We stayed after the race to drink beer and watch our friends who were doing the 15k cross the finish line more than half an hour behind us. Then we decided to hitch a ride with a friend back to our cars where we'd left them before our first run of the day.
That only made for just over 12 miles in the morning, and considering I ran 15 last week, it's a little misleading to count it as a double, but I'm doing it.
I need to get back to doing double workouts more often this summer. It's not as hot here this summer as it was last year, but the air is still not great in the early evening -- that will be good practice for Beijing! Plus, double workouts will keep me from going out as often as I did in June.
I am going to finish up my current yoga pass this week, then I might take a couple days off from yoga, then I'm going to take the plunge. I'm going to do a 30 day Bikram challenge again. I want to finish it up right before I go out of town at the end of August for Hood to Coast. Then, depending on how it goes, and whether my office moves on schedule (and if so, if I start my running commute), I may do another 30 days challenge for basically the month of September. As long as I finish up before we fly to China on October 10, it should work out. And the heat and bendiness from Bikram should also help with my marathon. I may skip one night of yoga per week to do the social run with friends, and then I'll try to go during the day on Fri/Sat/Sun, so hopefully that will keep it from completely taking over my life again.