Week 6 was slightly better than last week. I felt great during the week as the mileage was the same for my short runs, but the long run was just as hard and longer at 15 miles. This is the first long run where I ended up walking more than my designated walk breaks, which is walking for ½ mile every five miles. Though I walked the long distance more than I would have liked, I did end the last two miles running at my goal pace. The exciting thing is that I think that I discovered a problem with my walk breaks; they seem to be a little too long. When I start running again after my second walk break, my legs all of a sudden feel like they have cement blocks on them. I thought it would be good to get a long rest in, but my body seems to get the idea that we are all done and starting back up is very hard. I did a little research and found that a lot of people recommend walking for one minute every 10 minutes or every mile. That seems like a whole lot of starting and stopping to me, but my way doesn’t seem to be working so well. I have been drinking a gulp of water every one mile and eating energy gels every five miles, so the new walk breaks will coincide with this and make for more coordinated drinking and geling.
I also took a couple of walks on Commonwealth this week to check out the hills and the snow. It is still pretty icy at places, but I feel that I can finally start training outside this week! I am hoping that the change of scenery mixed with the enthusiasm of fellow runners will help with the longer runs. The hills are as long and steep as rumored, especially given that they are at the 20-mile mark of the run. My plan is to power walk the hills with the jogging stroller on my cross training days, so come race day the hills will seem easier without my 27-pound son along for the ride!