I had no idea how my legs would react following the brutal 10km course in Castelbuono, Italy the previous week. I did my best to get in a fair number of easy miles and no workouts to speak of other than a few rhythm 200 meter repeats. Each day was a little better, and on Saturday I felt ready to go again. Since I've been traveling every week for the last month, I decided not to leave to Belgium until the day before the race. The race wasn't until late Saturday evening, and it was a simple 70 minute direct flight. I opted to spend one more night in a familiar environment rather than restlessly sitting around the hotel room for another two days. The race itself was fairly slow through 5km, but this was expected as the majority of the field was only worried about running 13:30 for the European Championships. This has been the case for all European 5km's this summer, so it has been extremely difficult to find a race paced at 13:20 or better. This uncertainty is what comes with having a late track season as opposed to going for the dependable California races in April and May, so I decided that no matter what the pace was I would simply race to win. After the slow first 3km (I believe 8:12ish), the pace started to pick up the last 2km, and I looked to put myself in position with the leaders. I was with the leaders until the last 500 meters in which I was dropped pretty hard by Tahri (who recently ran 13:12). While I was hoping to get into a race where I could be pulled to a big 5km best, I have no regrets. I accomplished what I was looking for, and that was to get the wheels moving in between marathon build-ups. Coming off the London Marathon in April I was able to achieve my highest ever finish at the US Track Championships at 10,000 meters (3rd) and came away with a PR of 13:28 in the 5km. Onto marathon training!
Since the last month has been very low mileage for me in between races, I don't feel like I need much of a break. I am taking this week very easy by only run a few days and only with my wife. I'm confident I'll be able to hop right into marathon training next week. I'll be heading back to Portland on the 12th and then heading to Flagstaff on the 14th to start a month long training session. I'm looking forward to giving altitude a full go and seeing how my body reacts when I come down. I'll be heading into Portland Integrated Health to have my blood drawn and get initial readings before heading up to 7000 feet. I will then have it checked again right when I come down. Based on these results as well as how my body reacts to the changes, we will see if this will become a regular part of my training.
My down week has been spent in the Austrian Alps where I've been able to get some nice hiking in, as well as some gorgeous runs with my wife as she prepares for her first marathon in Victoria, BC in October. This part of the alps is only a few hours drive from Eva's parents' village, so it makes for an easy trip. I'm looking forward to getting back to work in another set of Alpine mountains in Arizona next week! Feel free to check out last week's easy training week below, and follow me here on twitter for more updates. Thanks again for reading.
|Tuesday||10.5 + drills and strides||5||40 minutes||15.5|
|Thursday||6 miles + 6 x 200 meters @ 29-30 w/ 200 equal jog rest||off||7.5|
|Friday||Travel to Brussels||5.5||5.5|
|Saturday||2 mile shake-out||5km race at Memorial Rasschaert – Flanders Cup (13:28, 3rd place)||10|
|Sunday||Off – end of season||off||0|