Training and Coffee: Marathon Week 9

Hello My Friends!

Stooooopid, poorly timed chest congestion cold (sigh). So, I felt miserable all week and, because half my runs were shorter and all were much slower (around a min/mile) than usual, I felt like it was a bad week. Turns out, I tend to focus on the “what didn’t work” and forget to look at the forest rather than the trees. Big picture, it was actually a pretty good week and I’m really kind of proud of myself, especially considering how poorly I felt. I ended up with a total of 43 miles this week, which is a week personal best for me (I think my previous personal best was 37, I think, so that’s a huge jump).

Here’s how this week went:

  • Sunday, 02/16/2014 – supposed to be a rest day – but, because I was irritated about only getting 7.91 – rather than the 16 on plan – for week 8, I decided to do the longer of the two runs offered at a Raleigh Rock and Roll preview run (there have been a couple, this was just one of them). At first, I had planned only to do the 4 as a “mental test” run after my 16 miler, but, because the 16 didn’t happen, I decided to do the 6-mile route. Seemed easy, right? I mean, I’ve run most of what I’ll refer to as “the top of the route” or the north, east and west segments – then I would just cut over to the east to finish (since I work a block from the start/finish line). This run, however, had us doing part of the south-most route… which doesn’t have sidewalks and DOES have a lot of traffic… and I don’t exactly feel safe running it…. And, having done several races on this segment of the road, I knew that. So… I opted for going a different way through town. However, one of the other runners (who was lost) had asked me to guide him back to the actual route running on the part that had no sidewalks. I said “this street doesn’t have sidewalks”. I know I’m kind of a low talker, but I said it several times and I don’t think he heard me any of the times I said it because he was shocked and surprised to find no sidewalks. Ah well. Having done part of this road in Week 7 for my 18-miler, I said “yeah, the road we need to turn on is the next one – up there at the light.” I was a block too far to the east, and we ended up having to back-track. All said, we ended up with a little over 7 miles. Although I was still feeling like poo, I did feel better after this run, so I was glad I did it.
  • Monday, 02/17/2014 – Intervals – I had originally planned to run with a friend, but that ended up not working out and because I had planned to do a longer run (still trying to make up for missing half of my 16-miler the Saturday before), I decided to do 5 before the Nog Run Group and then join the group for the 5 mile route, as I had done a couple weeks before. I timed it alright so I finished the first 5 with about 10 minutes to spare – just enough time for a bathroom/water/gu break, and then I started out on the 2nd half of the run. Overall, it went well, but I could tell I was tired and was having a hard time keeping my pace. I gave up after a while and just focused on finishing the run. I got back to Tir Na Nog and realized I had forgotten to stop by my car to get my coat, so I ran back to my car to get it – taking a couple of extra turns to make sure I got 11 total. I felt ok during the run, but after I was coughing up a storm and my chest hurt. The coughing finally subsided after I took my shower and I started to feel better and slept better this night than I had all weekend.
  • Tuesday 02/18/2014 – non-run day and I was grateful I didn’t have to run. I felt horrible when I woke up so I planned to do my ab work in the evening, but ended up not doing it because I was lazy when I got home.
  • Wednesday, 02/19/2014 – Supposed to be the interval day, but I felt worse than I did on Tuesday, so I skipped it. In retrospect, I probably should have just done a short-little 3-miler to knock stuff out of my chest… lesson learned.
  • Thursday, 02/20/2014 – Supposed to be a non-run day, but decided to try the prescribed interval run… at the last minute, after talking to a co-worker who is a marathon vet, I decided to just run for an hour and see what I get. I’m glad I did it that way. It was brutal and slow, but I ended up with just under 7 and I was a bit away from the office, so I kept going until I got back to the office and ended up with just over an hour and just over 7 miles. Like Monday, I hacked and hacked and hacked after, but I felt tons better after the shower and didn’t cough much more that evening.
  • Friday, 02/21/2014 – supposed to be the target tempo 6 miler, but I opted for a rest day to increase my chances of getting a good 20-miler I planned to do with another co-worker planning for his first full.
  • Saturday, 02/22/2014 – 18 miles were on plan, but I promised to go 20 with my coworker preparing for his first full in 3 weeks because I didn’t want him to have to run it alone – that distance alone sucks. He planned out a route, did a water drop and a lot of great prep-work to make this a wonderful run. He put a lot of thought into the run and it really showed! He planned a lot of change in terrain and scenery and there are hills… lots of hills, but the route was awesome – we even did about 2 mi of a technical trail – my favorite part of the route – all muddy and rooty with sharp turns and inclines and decents – just awesome!! I was really worried about this run today, though… and I think it showed on my face when I got to his house… I felt like poo when I woke up. The coughing was present, but not as bad as the days before – but still bronchial and sounding awful. On top of that, I slept all twisty or something on a bed at my dad’s and woke up with a sharp pain in the mid-part of my back… geezzzzz… bad timing, body! God, getting older sucks. To add insult to injury, every time I coughed, this sore spot in my back sent sharp pains through my back, shoulders and made my right side cramp. But… I wanted this run. I wanted this run badly. I wanted to join my friend. I wanted to see him through to 20 – that is a tough run and I wanted to see it to the end with him. Because I had the cold, though, I was also terrified of dehydration – I’m always dogged by that – so I drank a lot of water the day before, this morning, and brought 2-20 oz bottles of water with me. I didn’t think I was going to drink both, but thought I’d take them anyway. He also dropped another 20-oz bottle of water for us at the mid-point. I drank that one too, plus the last bit of one of his 8-oz bottle, but still got to mile 18 I wasn’t sweating – which made the side cramp even stronger and more painful. I really don’t know what happened because I made 3 bathroom stops and everything looked good at each stop – plus the fact that I had to pee every 5 miles or so I took as a good sign. I guess it was just my body trying to keep up with the rigor I was putting it through. I also had to walk for a couple of spots, which for my pride, is tough to take. I was really struggling for the last 1.5 to 2 miles so I bailed once we got back to the starting place where my car was – short of 20 miles by only a half, but that 1/2 mile just wasn’t going to happen today and I didn’t want to hold back him more than I already had. He went on to finish 21 and still had some to spare. I am SOOO stinkin’ proud of him! I came back to my dad’s showered, got my boys and took them out to lunch at their favorite place. I fell asleep watching them play video games and have not coughed at all since then. I’m mighty sore now, though, likely from the 2-mi of trail on our route. Totally. Freaking. Worth it.

The plan for Week 10: steps back to about 28 miles which puts me at around the same mileage for Feb as I had in January with three fewer days:

Hope you all have a great week!

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One thought on “Training and Coffee: Marathon Week 9

  1. Pingback: 2014 Race Reports: Tobacco Road Half Marathon (Cary, NC – Repeat State) | The Devil's Chasin' Me

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