Friday was the last day the pool was open at Lifetime Fitness.
On a recent Friday, I went to the pool to get in some nice easy, once a week swimming. I swim once a week in the off-season to keep my stroke familiar. It’s not really a workout, but rather a nice 30 minute swim on a Friday afternoon. It’s a great to start the weekend. The temps outside were starting to get chilly in the evening, so I figured this would be the last week that the outdoor pool would remain open. I’m always amazed at how few people swim in October when the weather is perfect, and how many people swim in July/August when the water temps reach ridiculous levels.
Oh well, Saturday I noticed the lane ropes were gone and the pool was officially closed. Til next time!
Saturday morning I got up and the crack o’ dawn to take the cross bike out for an easy spin. My plan was to do a little reconnaissance for the City of Oaks Marathon in 2 weeks. So if you’re on the fence and want to take a look at the course, here it is for downloading. One thing I thought was odd, was that on the website it says “The City of Oaks Marathon is now FLATTER and FASTER!” I’m guessing that they mean the course is flatter and faster than when it went through Umstead Park. But I definitely would not characterize the course as flat. There are some hills outbound and on the return path on the greenway where there’s going to be lots “O” walking(looking at you hill up to Meredith College”. Nothing too long. I like the course, and I like the hills to change things up.
I haven’t signed up(yet), but I’m seriously thinking about it. I’m trying real hard to stay in shape over the fall/winter so that when things ramp up in the Spring, I can just keep building instead of starting back over at square one. Plus, I need another long sleeve t-shirt, and I like the ones I’ve seen.
On the flipside, running marathons hurt. I’m not sure if it is worth the risk or if I should continue training through it and maybe just do the half-marathon. I’m really concentrating on becoming a stronger cyclist this year so I’m not sure if recovering for 4 days after a marathon is the best use of time. On the flipside of that flipside, City of Oaks Marathon is literally 5 minutes from my home, so it’s really hard to pass up…And I haven’t done a standalone marathon since 2009.
So with this back and forth in mind, for the last 6 weeks I’ve been pseudo-training for a marathon, and doing a lot of hard interval and hill work on the bike. To keep in running shape, this basically means (for the most part) sticking to a long run on the weekend and then doing a 5-8 mile run on Wednesdays(sometimes hard, sometimes nice and easy). The other days of the week have been recovery spins(Monday) and interval and hill repeats(Tues/Thurs) on the bike. These typically are in the 1.5-2.0 hour range. So aerobically, I’m good to go, just not sure about all of the pounding on the concrete.
Since we were out of town last week at the Antique, I didn’t do much in terms of running for about 7 days. So today(Sunday) I was playing catch up a bit and had a 20 mile run at Umstead Park. The plan was to hold 9 min pace for the entire 20 miles, finishing in about 3 hours. I ended up finishing up in 3 hours, and 2 minutes without any issues, so about as well as could be expected.
Marathon or Half-Marathon?…that is the question!