I have no excuse for my absence other than apathy. I just haven't felt like writing much. I finished my summer semester of school on August 1, and I was so tired of writing that I just needed a break. I had to turn in a 25 page paper and complete a final exam that night so you can see why. I am happy to be have one more semester under my belt, but I am sad to report that my 4.0 streak has come to an end. Yes, I got an A- this summer (who gives A-'s anymore???), and I now have a 3.95. Oddly enough, I was a little upset! But I have come to terms with it and am ok now. I am enjoying a break from classes, however, I will kick back up next Wednesday.
I was prepared for the next mileage build, but I admit I was nervous because of how tired I was during recovery. The week called for 46 miles. Tuesday was 10 again, with a few hills, at marathon pace + 30 seconds. It was a fantastic run. I usually give James numbers on how the run went, on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest. I called that run an 8. I nailed the pace for all 10 miles and actually came in a few seconds under, averaging a 9:26. And my heart rate was much more normal at 158 BPM for the run. Thursday was 12. Another solid run, perhaps even better than Tuesday. My paces were faster, especially in the last half of the run at 9:24, 9:20, 9:15, 9:23, 9:07 and 9:04! I started a bit slower so my average for the 12 was 9;28, but my heart rate averaged out at 158. I was really pleased after this run, and I was only 16 miles away from closing out a solid 46 mile week.
Saturday morning, I was literally running on fumes. After a late Friday night helping out a friend, I met the crew to run the 16 on just 4 hours of sleep. James had told me running on limited sleep would be ok as we often run marathons on little sleep with nerves on top of it. He was so right. This was the best long run I've had all summer. After the first mile, I was on pace right away. For the first 6 miles, I hovered around 9:50 to 9:55, then for the remainder of the run 9:30's and low 9:40's. I started tiring out in the last 4 miles, but there was no way I was going to let up. The last two miles, in typical fashion, were faster at 9:22 and 9:15. The average for this run was 9:44 with an average heart rate of 152. I was pretty excited I held on and came in under pace on this run after the two previous runs were such hard efforts. It was a solid, solid run, and I was happy.
I had pretty much polished off 46 miles in perfect form. Every run was on point. 9:30 and 9:44 might not seem fast to most, but try doing it in extremely high humidity with temps in the upper 70's, low 80's, with the index hovering in the upper 80's. Last week was better temp-wise, and we were blessed with a breeze most every morning, but let's face it, it's still hot. Despite it all, I'm running better than I ever have throughout the summer, and I'm pretty darn proud of that. It's a major milestone for me. I'm also running my best at the hottest part of the summer, and I consider that success. And as coach says, success breeds success.