So my week was as follows:
Monday: 11 miles: Treadmill run at around a 6:15 to 6:20 per mile pace... I was feeling particularly lazy, so I just ran at a modest pace inside on a treadmill rather than braving the elements.
Tuesday: 15 miles: I was going to go out for a nice fast 10 mile tempo run, mostly involving running through and around Druid Hills, but on my way back after about 9 miles of tempo, I ran into fellow Team That's What She Said runner Kris Simms and ran most of his run with him at a slower pace, tacking on some extra miles. I don't have an exact time on the run, but the first 9 miles were probably around 5:50 per mile (I was CRUISING), and the last 6 felt to be somewhere in the 7's range.
Wednesday: 15 miles: I went for about 105 minutes out in the cold soaking rain. My pace was reasonably fast, but relatively easily sustainable. I ran to and from Robert E Lee park with a loop and a half-ish (loops are somewhat hard to define here) and was stupid enough to bring my iPod shuffle, which stopped working partway through the run . Fortunately, after letting it just sit around for a few days, it's working again. The other retarded thing I did on Wednesday was slam my ankle into a downed tree really hard, which has given me a rather painful bruise. I was going on a new trail that I didn't know very well and I was jumping a fallen tree, but it was super slippery and my right foot completely slid out from under me. Unfortunately, I crashed down on the other side and slammed my left ankle into another smaller downed tree on the other side that I didn't initially know was there. I was sort of just laughing at myself at first for being so reckless and stupid, but it's been a little bit painful for the last couple days now. Fortunately, a bruised ankle is nothing more than painful while running; training on it won't screw me over at all.
Thursday: 25 miles: Thursday was a great day of training. I went back to Robert E Lee in another downpour and ran a couple miles more than the previous day in a little under 2 hours for a 17 miler early in the day. Later on, I was feeling good, so I went back out for another 8 miles in Druid Hills with a headlamp in on and off showers around midnight. Shortly into my run, before I hit the park, some dude was walking down the street and was like "Man, that's some dedication", which really helped fuel my run. It's funny how a little comment here or there from someone I don't even know that knows nothing about my training can make me want to keep working hard. I felt really good the whole run since I kept it super slow (spent just under an hour for 8 miles) and I was just super pumped up for a few hours after running and couldn't get to bed until 4:30 AM or something ridiculous.
Friday: 9 miles: By Friday, I had begun to start feeling nervous about the last 2 finals of my undergraduate career (I have both on this coming Tuesday: Models of the Neuron from 9AM - noon and Systems Bioengineering 3 from 6PM to 9PM). I'd done very little for studying and I didn't give myself very much time to running so I could spend more time studying. I just ended up going out for a 9 miler, which I did in about an hour, mostly on the forest trails and hilly paved trails in Druid Hills. I probably would've chopped off a bit of studying and run more, but I was pretty nervous about my 20 mile Loch Raven run on Saturday, since I was running it with Adam Sierakowski who is quite fast. I didn't want to go into it tired and sore, so I just kept Friday pretty short.
Saturday: 20 miles: I did a really great 20 miler on Saturday morning with Adam Sierakowski, the guy who debuted in the marathon in a freakishly fast 2:47. Adam kept assuring me that he was out of shape, but I was imagining that his "out of shape" would be something like my "incredible shape". Fortunately, though, I was able to keep up the whole time and have enough energy left at the end to tempo the crap out of the last 5 miles. We did the first 80 minutes at roughly a 7:30/mile pace on pretty rugged trails including a couple uphills that were so bad that I vowed to never run them again. After about 80 minutes, we were inadvertently right back by his car after probably a little less than 11 miles, so we just ended up doing a much faster out-and-back on Loch Raven Drive. We instantly picked up the pace on the road, which was downhill almost the entire way on the out and the 30 minutes went by very quickly. On the way back, I decided to see what we were made of and I just brought the pace up another notch to a quad-burning rate that was pretty ridiculous after having run 15 or 16 miles already. We're still sort of arguing about what the pace was near the end, but having done a fair amount of treadmill training lately on my lazy days and now having a pretty good idea for exactly how a 6 minute mile feels, I'm pretty sure the last 3 miles were extremely close to, if not under, a 6 minute mile. The back section was mostly a slight gradual uphill with one particularly nasty uphill for what must've been close to a mile near the end, but we both pushed it in pretty hard for a strong finish.
Sunday: 9 miles: Now that I'm really getting scared about my finals (I'm maybe a little over half-way done studying for Models of the Neuron, but I haven't done crap for SBE3), I kept my run pretty darn short. I decided to just run super fast today, so I did a pretty short loop through Druid Hills and then finished by going on an absolute rampage around campus as fast as I possibly could. I wanted to start getting used to training in uncomfortably cold temperatures so I won't absolutely die when I go home to MN for Christmas, so I was super-hardcore-like and ran this thing shirtless despite temperatures somewhere in the low 40s. It must've looked pretty funny to see me running at a barely sustainable pace at the tail-end of daylight in December with no shirt on... haha... I was WAY under 6 minute miles for this crap, so I was good and tired by the end.
Weekly Total: 104 miles
Reflections on the week/a bit about next week: I know I was gunning for about 115 miles, but I decided that anything over 100 was still very good, especially since I really need to keep my mileage up through the end of January and I know that 115 a week is more than I'll be able to sustain for that long. If I can keep my average as close to 100 a week as possible, I'll probably be the most ready I can be for Rocky Raccoon without burning myself out. I'm still debating whether or not to actually race the Celtic Solstice 5 miler this coming Saturday; I know that if I race it without at least 2 days taper, I probably won't be incredibly happy with my time and I also know that regardless of what happens, I really want to run the entire 20 mile NCR trail later in the day on Saturday, so doing that after racing would be fairly painful. That being said, running a good 20 miler after totally fatiguing myself by racing might help with the preparation for Rocky Raccoon, so I might just go ahead and do it. I'm pretty sure that if I race on Saturday, I won't end up tapering for more than a day since tomorrow and Tuesday will probably be crappy days for running due to finals and whatnot. There's a decent chance I won't even get out to run on Tuesday until 10 PM or something since I'll probably want to study more for my 2nd final after taking my first one. That being said, I'm going to want to put in really big days on Wednesday and Thursday to make up. No matter what, I'll probably have to be content with 90 miles this week. I'm going to push for as many miles as I can and try to hit 100, but that'll probably only happen if I do back-to-back 20's on Wednesday and Thursday, run the whole NCR thing on Saturday, and then still hit a reasonable run in MN on Sunday after getting in pretty late. I'm feeling pretty well-motivated as of late though, so I should hopefully be able to make things happen, especially, if I throw in 2-a-days on Wednesday and/or Thursday.