One reason for training in a group is that it is far easier to push yourself when others are around. Groups are naturally competitive and almost any group run (or group ride) will contain some high intensity stretches. It is also easier to suffer when others around you suffer too.
When you are by yourself pushing hard is much more difficult to do. You have to motivate yourself and then you have to make sure you follow through. That is much worse than it sounds, and it may be one of the reasons why people like gadgets. A gadget like a speedometer or a heart rate monitor (or a power meter on the bike) lets you know how hard you are going. That makes it much tougher to cheat or delude yourself.
The Boston marathon is coming up. There are less than two weeks to go and although I ran a lot this year, I haven't done much speed work. So this past week I decided to add some intensity. It started out well but in the end I did not do as much as I should have.
On Tuesday I ran 8 miles in the hills, including a two mile stretch on Grizzly at 9 mph. That was pretty hard. I had expected to run 8.5 but was able to hold 9 despite the rollers so I felt great afterwards.
On Wednesday I added a 7.5 mile run with a fast one-miler. On Thursday I ran to Montclair and back for a total of 7.5 miles. This stretch is not flat either but it has more flat sections than my usual 7.5 mile run and parts of it are similar in feel to the Boston course. On Friday I rode on rollers for 1 hour. Here I focused on spinning to add some leg speed.
On Saturday I drove Alistair to Milton/Copperopolis for his race, but it was too cold out there to run. The temperature was at 47 F/8 C with a nasty wind. I had counted on sun and so I did not bring warm clothing. Fortunately, as soon as we got back home the sun came out and it felt quite a bit warmer. I set out at 3 PM to do an 8 mile loop but ended up running 10.5 on Shepherd.
On Sunday we had a late winter storm and the weather was pretty horrible all day, except for early morning. I decided it would be better if I rested. I spent my time watching the Ronde and shopping around for flights to Boston.
Today I ran 8 miles to Montclair and back. There were showers in the morning but by afternoon the sun came out and it was warm and pleasant. I tried to do some speed work too, although I am not sure how effective it was.
My fundraising effort for the Brain Aneurysm Foundation is going so-so. In some ways it is going better than I expected, but on the other hand, I can't really say I am bringing in the dough. I'll be happy if I reach $1,000, and overjoyed if I can hit my target of $2,000.