Training and Coffee: Marathon Week 13

Hello My Friends!

I know I was pretty unhappy about the rest I had to take for week 12, but, in the end, it turned out to be a very good thing. I still have a bit of nasal congestion, but that is diminishing more every day. The thing I really learned this week was that I have to stay ahead of rest and hydration. I realize this is my biggest mileage before the race and I won’t have a nearly-60-mile-week for race week, but I tend to forget about hydration and fuel and think I’m doing a good job of it when I’m not. Sometimes. Nevertheless, I did a decent job at training – better than I expected, considering two long runs in the same week. I did have to cut a couple runs a bit short so as to not over do it in preparation for my 22-miler today… it paid off. More on that in a minute. I know I have a race report to do for the Tobacco Road half, but I am also thinking of doing a post on what I learned from marathon training. More to come on that… for now, though, here’s how week 13 went:

  • Sunday, 03/16/2014 – in keeping with the tradition of not having restful Sundays, I completed the  Tobacco Road Half marathon. I did it as a training run (I had 14 on my plan), so I didn’t go all out with a full effort. In fact, I specifically didn’t run it alone so I could manage that because, well, I’ve met me. It was a great experience, though, and I loved the race (more on the details of it in my race report) and I absolutely plan to do this race again! I ended up with 1:58 and some change, which I was very, very happy about because it meant I took it seriously as a “training run” and managed to not let my competitive self overtake things. My eyes were on the prize. Most importantly, though, I wasn’t at all sore. I really wanted some coffee (I’m getting Pavlovian about that), and I really, really needed to get out of the cold because I was starting to cough a lot, so I left. But… I had a great time at this race and I was very happy with my time.
  • Monday, 03/17/2014 – I had 11 on my plan, which I thought was a bit much, but I thought I’d do at least 5-6 before run club, and then decide how I feel and do the 5 mile route and cut it short if I was sore or whatever. I had a dentist appointment on that side of town, which ended earlier than I expected (still no cavities!), so I decided to head toward downtown to just walk around a bit and get ready for my run. On my way in, though, it started sleeting. Hard. Eff that. I’m still a bit sick from the week before, and I have no business running in sleet. I kept going, though, hoping it would let up. It did not. (sigh). So, I went home. I ended up running about 7.2 on the treadmill (while watching Doctor Who… yes, again!). I cut it short because (a) I’m getting super duper sick of running on that God-forsaken treadmill. Don’t get me wrong – happy I have it – but I am getting sick to death of running on it and (b) I was starting to get really, really tired. I guess the 13 from the day before was catching up to me. I was ok with the shorter mileage, though. This was also my only, lonely core work day. I lugged those weight balls around all week intending to use them in my work gym, but never did (sigh).
  • Tuesday 03/18/2014 – non-run day, and I basically didn’t do a thing. It was nice 🙂
  • Wednesday, 3/19/2014 – 8+ was on the plan, and I ended up with 9.5, at a very hearty 8:30 pace at the end of the day. That’s almost unheard of for me, so I was very happy to have it! I felt good afterward, too, though, my legs were starting to get sore from lugging those damn weight balls up 7 flights of stairs for three days straight.
  • Thursday, 03/20/2014 – non-run day, and I woke up really dehydrated, and I struggled with it all day. I started on my carb loading for the Saturday run at lunch this day and felt horrible the rest of the day… blurgh… ‘s ok, though, I did eventually catch up with hydration and I finally digested my food.
  • Friday, 03/21/2014 – I woke up thinking I slept OK (because my app said I did), but for some reason, I felt really, really tired by the middle of the day. I finally went on my run around 3:30 or so and was really dragging. I bitched and complained about it the entire 5 miles I did it. Nothing helped and I never really felt better, so I decided to stop at 5 to increase success with the 22-miler the next day.. but I *was* a bit irritated about not getting 8. gah. I went back to work, finished some stuff up, went home, ate some rice pasta, and then went to sleep. At 8:30 PM. I really don’t remember the last time I went to bed at 8:30 on a Friday when I wasn’t sick.
  • Saturday, 03/22/2014 – For my longest run of this training cycle, I decided to attempt 22 again (I did it in the fall of 2013 with the first training cycle). I am *so* glad I gave it another try… Mentally, I was pretty scared of this run. I had decided to run it with a gym run group who was doing the entire length of the American Tobacco Trail now that they’ve opened the bridge to Durham. However, they weren’t starting until 8, and I needed to get my boys at a decent hour, so at the last minute, I decided to go solo. I woke up at 5 AM and mapped a route. I decided to park my car at the start line, and run the first 9, then back to my car (about 2 miles); refuel and pee, and then run miles 26.2 through to mile 20 (in reverse from Finish) and then straight back Hillsborough back to my car. Other than a couple of missed turns, the first half went really, really well. I felt wonderful the entire time, even up to mile 11. At the break, I drank an entire bottle of plain water, part of another bottle, and an entire bottle of Gatorade, then started back again. My first mile back was pretty slow, but I got a little faster as I went on. The reverse had more climbs up than I think will be the case on the actual route, plus, I ran some of the greenway that might have been a wee bit flatter than I expect, but otherwise, it went well. I took a gu at mile 15 (around Pullen Road), and felt great until I hit my turn around at mile 18 (just before Blue Ridge Road). I was running out of water and there were no side walks the rest of the way to Blue Ridge, so I decided to turn around about 1/2 a mile earlier than planned. When I turned around, though, I felt every bit of the sun on me and I was starting to really drag.  I was getting thirsty and I was having a hard time focusing on the run itself – I just kept counting down how many miles I had left… When I start doing that, I’m never in a good place. I’m not sure what happened, but around 19.5, I snapped out of it and had a kick-ass last couple of miles (especially the last one). I finished in under a 9:00 pace, which surprised (and delighted) me. I was surprised about the mental issue at that early in the run, though, so it has me a tad worried about the race – that’s with 8 mi left. I have also accepted the fact that, based on this run, a sub-4 hour finish may happen, but a BQ most likely will not. I’m OK with that. I’ll just do the City of Oaks and/or Tobacco Road Full and try to BQ those races.

Week 14 is the start of taper… and while I’m looking forward to some rest, I’m also nervous about tapering because I have really grown to like this mileage (groan). I’m likely to get a lot of this on the treadmill this week, but by God, I’m doing that 10-miler outside. I swear.

  • 6 miles slow
  • 9 miles – 2 mi warm up, 6 mi at target pace of 8:35-9:10, and 1 mi cool down
  • 3 x 2 mile intervals – 2 mi warm up, 3 x 2 mile intervals at target pace of 8:00-8:10 and 3 min rests between, 1 mi cool down
  • 10 miles at target of 8:35-9:10… that’s it??? 😦
  • Core Work – goal of at least 3 this week again – I’m keeping this goal on here until I *actually* get that number…

Hope you all have a great week!

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One thought on “Training and Coffee: Marathon Week 13

  1. Pingback: Training and Coffee: Marathon Week 14 | The Devil's Chasin' Me

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