Training and Coffee: Marathon Week 11

Hello My Friends!

Wow what a week! Before I dig into the details, let’s just say: it was a great week for training. I’m proud of myself and I actually feel pretty good after this kind of mileage – officially, 49.7. Usually, I’d run that extra .3 so I could make it a nice pretty round 50, but 49.7 still beats my all-time “mileage in a week” PR and I shaved a cool :20/mile off my overall time for the TWENTY I did today… I’m still wrapping my brain around that – to shave that much over that distance astonishes me and I’m pretty proud of that, especially considering the route today… More about that in the list below.

I’m still terrified of the fact that the marathon is now 4 weeks away, but I’m feeling a lot better about it after this week. I’m still fretting (obsessing?) about the scenarios I mentioned in the Week 10 post, but I feel better about my goals and about my chances of finishing after today.

Between all the fretting and spazzing, however, there was some running. Here’s how this week went:

  • Sunday, 03/02/2014 – soooo, remember how I said I didn’t have a relaxing weekend last week? A friend suggested a hike along the Mountains to Sea Trail to scope out a running trail and, well, that sounded like a lot of fun, so I went along. It was actually pretty awesome – a lot of it was single track and technical. We didn’t run it (my friend is not a runner), but it was for the best because I was *supposed* to be resting. It was very hilly, though, and we ended up going 5 miles so, relaxing, it was not.
  • Monday, 03/03/2014 – 10 x 1000 meters (at a target of 7:40-7:50) was on the plan with 2 mi warm up, 1 mi cool down and 30 sec rests; I ended up doing 6:30 minutes at the upper end of the target interval pace and 30 sec rests. I did it on the treadmill because we got sleet and some freezing rain and run club was canceled. I had to stop the treadmill a lot so I ended up getting longer than 30 second rests, but I had longer than prescribed in each interval, so I think it evened out. I ended up with 11 miles total and an average pace under 8:10 – unbelievable to me.
  • Tuesday 03/04/2014 – non-run day and I decided to make good on my promise to do more ab work – I did 20 reps, but only 2 sets. That’s still close to the last time I did it a few weeks ago, but it left me quite sore. I also had to clear my driveway (again), so I ended up getting two workouts this day.
  • Wednesday, 03/05/2014 – 3 x 2 mile intervals (at a target of 7:55-8:05) with 2 mi warm up, 1 mi cool down and 3 min rests was on plan; I also did this one on my treadmill again because we had another cold snap and word on the streets was that they were icy and, well, I’m not a fan of icy and windy and cold and thought I’d have better luck hitting my time target on the treadmill. I was right. I ended up with 10 miles and, although the run I did on Monday was longer and faster, this one totally drained me. I literally looked tired the rest of the day – I had a lot of people tell me that. S’ok, though. Totally worth it. I also did some light ab work later in the afternoon, but I was still pretty sore from the day before, so I didn’t do as much as I had hoped I would.
  • Thursday, 03/06/2014 – non-run day and a really, really busy (and long) day at work. I was starting realize I wasn’t eating well about 1/2 way through the day, so I was trying to keep myself fed and hydrated, realizing that I had about 28 miles ahead of me in 2 days. Thank God that was my biggest challenge because, according to my sleep app, my quality of sleep was pretty low (65%) so I was feeling pretty wiped out and the thought of driving 20 miles was exhausting me.
  • Friday, 03/07/2014 – 8 miles on the plan and, guess what? It was rainy and 34 degrees. (sigh). I’m over this weather… I was Hell-bent and determined NOT to run this mileage on a treadmill, though, because, as far as I was concerned, 21 miles on a treadmill in a week was 21 too many. So I didn’t. I ran that sucker in the rain. There wasn’t a time goal on it, just “run it faster”… so, ok. I decided I wasn’t going to bust out sub-8:30 on it because I knew *where* I was running the next day and, while I appreciate understanding fatigue management and all, I don’t want to injure and I like walking, so… I kept it under a 9:00 average, and I was happy with the entire run. It felt difficult at first, but after around mile 3 I felt better and, before I knew it, here’s mile 7. It was a lovely run at the end, even in the cold rain, and I’m so glad I did it outside. However… the coffee I had right after was probably the best cup of coffee I’ve ever consumed.
  • Saturday, 03/08/2014 – 20 miles on plan… well, actually, 18, but I had already decided I wanted to do 20 and then in two weeks do 22, so, effectively 20 was on *my* plan today. A LOT of folks in my gym run group are also running the Rock and Roll Raleigh – a majority of them, it seems, running a full for the first time, so I’m in pretty good company with that group for finding longer run buddies in preparation for this race that are around my pace and level of expertise – something I really worried about. I am grateful for that! One member posted that he was planning to do a 20 mile run on Saturday, if anybody wanted to join. It was awesome to see, in very quick succession, all the “I’m In” comments. There was a little attrition at the end, but ultimately, there were 5 of us: the Colombian, the Organizer, the Veteran Marathoner, the Fast Dutchman, and me – the Girl. The Organizer was awesome at organizing the route and the group – he planned a route and even printed maps and cue sheets with turn by turns on them! The route started in Umstead (remember me talking about the hills there last week???) and captured a very large portion of the West-Side of the marathon route that covers the Reedy Creek and PNC Arena (I’m still going to call it RBC Center…) portions of the run. He ran a route similar a few weeks before and made some changes to our route based on what he discovered in terms of safety for us – so a lot of our run today was actually on the park trails. I have not run through most of Umstead, so most of that part of the run was new to me – and quite the ass-kicking. The first part went great – we were chatting and getting to know each other (or, at least I was – I was pretty much the only new one in the group) though, I had run with the Fast Dutchman before, so I was familiar with his patterns – and knew I couldn’t keep up with him (though, in a bigger group, he was a little slower than previous runs I have done with him). Until we got to the Art Museum, we were dodging icy patches, but otherwise, the run was going great. We found ourselves dipping into 8:30 territory occasionally, so we had to reign it in, but eventually, we made it to the 12.5 mark where (finally!) there was a place for me to pee! the Fast Dutchman only planned on 13 today, so he went ahead and the remaining 4 of us went to fill up water and continue on the 20. About 1/2 mile in, the Colombian (who was struggling with sciatica) had to turn back, which left me, the Organizer and the Veteran Marathoner for the last 6.5 miles. The first couple after the water stop were good – I’m running my mouth about anything that comes to mind, really, but then we got to the first really steep hill around mile 15.5 and not only did I shut up, I was handed a great big piece of humble pie and ended up falling behind the other two – which was fine with me. I didn’t want to hold them back and they were talking about setting goals of a 3:30, so I was proud to have kept up this long. Besides, I still had the map the Organizer made for us, so I was cool with it if I got separated. We were separated a little over a mile, and then the Organizer came back to look for me – I caught up to them and kept up for the next 3 miles or so, and then I told them to go on. The Marathon Vet had some cramping issues, so he was in pretty bad shape at the end, but we all ended up finishing pretty close to the 3 hour mark (3:05 for me, just under that for the Marathon Vet and just under 3 for the Organizer). In all, it was an AWESOME run. We rehydrated, stretched a little and talked in the parking lot for a bit, and then I met the Organizer, his girlfriend and The Colombian for coffee and food after the run before I had to head home. While sitting at the table, I realized that the only two runs I’ve had in the “14-26.2 miles” range were both just over 14 miles and were just a few seconds per mile faster than this one… Plus – and to me the more important stat – today’s run was about 20 sec/mile faster than the last couple of 20-miler (or close to 20 milers) I’ve done. That’s huge at this distance! …AND I hit an elevation PR today (which does NOT surprise me) of 1529. wtf? It is ON Umstead. I’m totally coming back to conquer your hills…

Week 12 steps back a bit – and I’m planning to adjust my long for Sunday, so I may be rearranging some runs this week to accommodate that… just haven’t decided what yet:

  • 6 x 1 mile intervals at 7:45 – 7:55 target pace, 1 min rests, and 2 mile warm up/1 mile cool down – likely do this one on my treadmill on Monday morning.
  • 2 x 4 mile intervals at 8:00-8:10 target pace, 5 min rest between, 2 mile warm up/1 mile cool down – also likely to happen on the treadmill this week
  • 8 miles slow
  • 14 miles at target of 8:35-9:10 – planning to run a half marathon event for this mileage on Sunday, so I’ll probably shift some runs around on this week.
  • Core Work – goal of at least 3 this week again – I got 2 last week, so I should be able to manage 3 this week.

Hope you all have a great week!

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One thought on “Training and Coffee: Marathon Week 11

  1. Pingback: Training and Coffee: Marathon Week 12 | The Devil's Chasin' Me

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