Weeks 11-14 of Ave of the Giants Trainings

Adjustments and flexibility was the name of the game through weeks 11-14.

Week 11

It can be difficult to plan out a good time to run when you’re on vacation and need to pack up and move every two days. I ran into that twice in week 11. I took the first day as a rest day and enjoyed sleeping in, sleep = recovery and I was feeling a need for it. After scouting Napier when we first arrived I knew that it would be easy to fit mile repeats in along the water. IMG_1254.jpg

What I didn’t know was that I would encounter a smell so horrific that I couldn’t breathe because I couldn’t stop retching. Of course, this happened in the 3rd mile of my repeats, so I had to turn around. Luckily the wind was working in my favor to keep the smell away from me. I finished with decent times but quite a horrific memory of that putrid stench.
We moved on to Wellington from Napier, and I really wish we could have spent more time in Wellington. It was a great city to run in, the first where I saw multiple people out running early, some in groups, a lot solo. I just felt very at home on this waterfront. While it was extremely windy, I gave a good effort through a 6 mile tempo workout. I went faster than marathon pace through the majority of it, and I felt tough. A train ride to Auckland meant I had a rest day following the tempo, then treadmill miles because navigating Auckland seemed like a nightmare. I looked up a local running group to get my long run in and was so lucky that there was one woman (Katrin) who was willing to run my pace and was a long time member of the group and knew exactly where to go. I ended up with 46 miles this week with two zero days.

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Week 12

I had one last run to do in New Zealand and it was my least favorite. Running through Auckland was just not my jam. I started off poorly with trying to get into the gym in my hotel before they opened it, so I was annoyed that I woke up early to have to wait. I wanted to get some miles on the treadmill while I waited for the sun to rise a bit more so I could navigate better. Then the run near the water in downtown Auckland was just kind of blah. There’s a lot of construction and just busy areas. I was excited to get back into the swing of things, even in cold Seattle! I made it to Wake Up Wednesday for an 8-mile tempo with friends the day after I returned. Not working on much sleep I was able to hit 7:02-7:08 pace and it felt tough after 6 miles, but not too terrible. The rest of the week I caught up on sleep and got some easy miles in. Overall it was a nice welcome back with 43 miles total.

Week 13

We started this week off fast. Hitting 6:30s and 6:40s for the two-mile repeats was fun. Back to spin class on Tuesday and a rest day on Wednesday, which was rare for me. It was also not a great decision because we ended up running in the last snowfall of the season in Seattle, where the snow only fell during the duration of our run. This was the run that told me the Nike Flyknits and the VaporFly’s by association would be horrible in slippery conditions.IMG_1591.jpg

One botched workout didn’t matter though so we moved on to the rest of the work for the week, some easy miles and a long run. I ran 50 miles this week, and my first 20 of the season. The 20 felt so smooth, easy, and fun it was a really good sign of more good work to come.

Week 14

This week started off with a fast and hard workout with some solid hills. I walked away confident from Monday, and into the Starbucks Half tempo on Wednesday. This is a notorious part of the training that is both exciting and challenging. It’s a mile and a half warm–up then 10 miles at marathon pace, which we’ve probably never done at actual marathon pace. In week 14 I averaged 7:04 through the tempo miles, 10 seconds faster than my actual MP. It was a confidence booster. The rest of the week was fun stuff. Spin class, a birthday celebration run for Sarah and other easy miles. I ran 48 miles this week.

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Weeks 15-18 in the next post, where I somehow continue to get faster?!