One week closer to the big day. This past week presented its own kind of challenges. Luckily, I was determined to make it work and accomplished all of my runs despite two business trips during a 4-day week. (Next time someone asks me how I have time to train for a marathon, I really need to tell them that I don’t. But that I make the time!). This training cycle has been interesting because I’ve been forced to run at least 3 of my long runs on Fridays as opposed to Saturday or Sunday. I am lucky to have a job that provides a flexible schedule because I honestly don’t know how I’d get it all done working a standard 9-5 (if a “standard” work schedule even exists!). I ran my 2nd 20-miler at the end of Week 6 on a Friday and didn’t get around to running again until the following Tuesday.
Tuesday: 5 shakeout miles (left for San Fran)
Wednesday: 7.95 predawn miles/ In San Fran for a 4 hr meeting today and was so happy to see a trail right in front of the hotel on the bay when I arrived the previous. I started my running around 5:30 AM (with a little help from the 2-hour time change!) It was so dark I could barely see my feet and, to be honest, I was scared I’d roll an ankle. Some portions of the Public Shore Trail that goes around the bay near the airport are unfinished and the pavement turns into somewhat long sections of gravel. [I’m so glad I looked up a map of the trail and realized it wasn’t finished—that would have been an interesting surprise!] I spent the entire run bouncing between the inland sidewalk and the shore trail. It was cool to see the planes land and take off during my cooldown. (returned for San Fran late that night)
1k (4:10) 1k (4:16–couldn’t see anything, ha!), 2k (8:34), 1k (4:04), 1k (4:02)
Thursday: “Bombed Tempo”/ I let the “I can’t do it” and the heat and humidity get to me today. 75 degrees and 80% humidity when I started. Beyond that, I’ve had to stack workouts for the 2nd week in a row. Ran 1 mile warm-up, target 6 miles at 6:55, and 1 mile cool-down. Don’t be fooled by the splits. I felt like I was doing mile repeats instead of a tempo because of how many times I stopped to regroup. Definitely the worst run I’ve had in awhile. I tried not to think too much about it the rest of the day. A little pep talk from Coach helped, too. I realize that there are factors that I can’t control and this past Thursday, the heat and humidity were out to get me. I need to stop being so tough on myself, apparently. Thursday was a rough day!
Splits: 6:54, 6:45, 6:52, 6:52, 6:52, 6:53.
Friday: REST [Side note: another business trip! This time, a one-day trip to DC. I was at O’Hare by 5:30 AM. After my meeting ended early, I was excited to head to the airport and see if I could get an earlier flight out. No such luck….and THEN, my actual flight was delayed two hours. I arrived home at 12:30 AM. Twenty-hour days are not my friend! I salute you airplane warriors that tackle this kind of schedule each and every week!]
Saturday: Anticipation Run 4.5 miles. I felt sluggish but it was nice to get out there before relaxing for the rest of the evening and shake the legs out before the long run the next morning.
Sunday: 15 miles alternating every mile between 7:40 and 7:20. I’ll just consider this a super confidence boost. When Coach sent the plan on Monday, I was like “huhhhhhh?”. But I’ve learned not to question the master plan and just went with it. I slept through both alarms that morning and went out at 8:30 AM, a good two hours later than I usually run my long runs. The weather was on my side, though, and it was only 64 degrees by the time I finished. And when I arrived home, I realized that I had likely run a PR for that distance. My half marathon PR is 1:36:08 and I saw 1:37 flash on my Garmin when I hit the 13-mile mark. Nothing but good things from this run! I was sleepy while watching the Bears game afterward, but I woke up on Monday with more energy than I usually do the day following a long run.
This week was incredibly challenging but I’m glad I was able to end it on a good note. I was able to balance work, personal, and running commitments without going out of my mind (cha ching!). Last week, I was obsessed with the quality vs. quantity debate. I keep telling Coach that I think my mileage is too low. Thank goodness, he doesn’t listen to me because my training is going so well.
There’s an argument to be made for running only 3-4 times a week, as opposed to 6-7. Some food for thought: