Another week, another funky schedule. But, as I always do, I did what I had to just to get the miles in. This week, I was able to sustain and push to the end of my runs. I’ve let my self-doubt get to me in prior weeks and I think it hurt my mental fortitude more than it did my physical training. I knew that this week was going to be different. I woke up on Monday morning ready to tackle my first workout, 400m repeats. I ran a badass 15 miles the previous Sunday, but my legs were ready to jump into the week (with a little more than a “pep in my step”).
Monday: 10 x 400s [Would have preferred a lazy, rest day but it’s another funky week with work & personal commitments so I decided to get my speedwork done today]. My legs are just a wee bit sore from yesterday’s 15, but felt totally fresh on the lakefront tonight. Ran 2 miles w/up, 10 x 400 at 1:35 (with 1:35 rest), and 2 miles c/d. Looks like I had a pep in my step!: 1:32, 1:30, 1:30 1:27, 1:28, 1:30, 1:31, 1:33, 1:32, 1:29.
Tuesday: Just an easy shakeout and some strength training
Wednesday: 8 mile tempo; Redemption is mine! After last week’s botched tempo, I was determined to keep those legs movin’. Ran 1 mile w/up, 8 miles at 7:15, and 1 mi c/d. Splits: 7:12, 7:04, 7:07, 7:08, 7:09, 7:03, 7:08, 7:02. (Cooler temps are my friend)
I can’t believe that this tempo went so well. My legs didn’t want to settle on 7:15, but kept pushing harder and harder toward a 7:00 min/mile pace. The weather was definitely my friend that morning, but so did the constant “I can do it” running through my head.
Thursday: Wednesday evening, I started to feel some tenderness in my calf/achilles in my right leg so I decided to “baby” it. I stretched (which I rarely do), foam rolled, and iced it with the Moji One while I watched TV. It felt similar to what I felt when I was dealing with peroneal tendinitis last year and I knew that I should back off and take a rest day.
Friday: Third (and final) 20-miler! Seriously—Fridays are the norm for my long runs this cycle. I’m lucky enough to have a flexible schedule and an open morning to fit the run in before a really hectic weekend (Is anyone else catching up on sleep during the week, as opposed to the weekend these days??)
“Feeling really, really good. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that we have this kind of weather on race day. Absolutely perfect! Ran to the lakefront as the sun came up–great way to start the day. Focused on keeping the pace conservative and jumping into a race-paced mile every now and then.” —> After my first and second 20-milers, I thought for sure the luck would run out and it wouldn’t go so well this time, but I surprised myself. Twenty glorious miles along the quiet lakefront on a Friday morning? —Sounds like perfection to me!
Last year, I was really good at visualizing the start line and the finish line. I walked (well…ran!) myself through the entire marathon like my life depended on it. I knew that my body was ready and that my mind would be there to keep my legs moving even when they didn’t want to. I’ve never been the kind of person to choose a “mantra” for those tough races and runs. Instead, it was as simple as choosing random motivational phrases that would push me when I needed it. I would think about how much time I dedicated to running, the sacrifices I had made along the way, and remind myself that it wasn’t all going to be for “nothing”. I wanted to prove that I could do it so badly. I would get so excited just thinking about what that finish line feeling would be like. With just a few short weeks to go until Twin Cities, I need to remember to give myself the mental boost I need and to think about that glorious finish line. Twenty-six-point-two miles of hard work—to get to the line and know that my discipline and hard work helped me to accomplish the big dreams I have for myself. My body is definitely ready. And my brain will be there to back me up, come race day.
P.S. I registered for the 2013 Boston Marathon this morning! (3 minutes after they opened registration again). It’s crazy what can happen in a year. Last January when I started training for my first marathon, I never ever thought that Boston would be within my reach. And here I am! Registering for Boston! Good luck to everyone registering!