The plan seems to have three pretty intense days of running - the long run, and two semi-long runs, with speed work incorporated into one of those. The other days are two easy runs and two cross train or rest days. The plan only has speed work every other week, but my friend Matt, who created it, said to do it every week, and to really focus on mile repeats, 800s, and hill work.
Let's look at this week as an example:
Monday: 10 miles
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 11 miles
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: cross train or rest
Saturday: 20 miles
Sunday: cross train or rest
So while the longer days are rough, they make the other days seem super easy by comparison. But make no mistake, the long days are a major challenge.
Yesterday was 11 miles, and I started about 5:30am. Mother Nature decided to screw me with 85% humidity in 32 degrees. AKA the worst of the worst. This was one of the weeks I needed to add in my own speedwork, so I randomly choose 5 mile repeats. I ran 5 easy miles, at about a 10:00 pace, and then hit the track.
According to McMillan, my mile repeat pace should be 7:38-7:50. Well, I failed miserably on that. My five splits were 8:24, 8:13, 8:16, 8:02,and 8:06, and the last mile was a cool down back to home. Not even a single mile under 8 minutes. Most were even slower than my tempo miles last week. In terms of effort, I can assure you it was there. I was gasping for breath so loud the walkers on the track probably wanted to call 911 and my legs were burning. I can only hope that my body will adapt to doing speedwork at that time and get better...sounds unlikely but it's all I've got. I'm just going to pat myself on the back for doing an 11 mile run before a 13 hour workday and move on.
Right now the plan is pretty manageable, but things aren't quite in full swing yet. Pretty soon, I'll be teaching full time, working at the running store (very) part time, tutoring after school (separate from my regular teaching job), and taking two grad classes. So I'm a little nervous about how that will all play out, but plenty of people train for marathons with much busier schedules than mine. As long as I can fit in some sleep, keep up with the Biggest Loser, and regularly FaceTime with Harrison, I'll be a happy camper.
When things get busy, what fun stuff is essential and what gets cut out? My TV watching will fall by the wayside but I'll always find a few minutes for some blog reading/writing!