Reflecting on each week of training can be really fun sometimes–especially if I’ve had a good week of workouts and my legs are feeling good. But the whole game changes once the marathon is just a matter of DAYS away! As of today, 13 days remain between me and the start line at Twin Cities. This is when the jitters start and the amount of time I dedicate to thinking about race day increases dramatically leading up to the race.
I feel confident in my running this past week. My body seems to be recovering from tough workouts a lot faster than it did last year. I remember feeling “creaky” and achy when walking to the train to work each morning at this point in my training last year. Now, I feel like I get up, get moving, and don’t really think about which muscles ache or why that one little nagging pain won’t go away. I’d like to think that I’m just taking better care of myself but I think my body is just stronger and is able to deal with the stress more easily.
Here’s how this week progressed:
Monday: REST (ahhhhhh rest :)) I spent the night on the couch watching silly TV instead of beating myself up about not running easy.
Tuesday: Shakeout –after a lazy Monday, these legs needed to MOVE. I felt so smooth and the miles ticked by quickly.
Wednesday: 10 x 800 Yassos — A big benchmark workout this morning. My goal was 3:18 for each 800 repeat. Splits: 3:17, 3:13, 3:13, 3:13, 3:10, 3:14, 3:12, 3:13, 3:12, 3:10. The last two were difficult but I had the energy to really push it on the last one.
I looked up my splits from this workout exactly a year ago before the Chicago Marathon and couldn’t believe how much faster I’m running these splits now. I was consistently running 3:35 or faster last year and now 3:15 seems comfortable. I’m so glad I’m meticulous about tracking the data sometimes because it really makes you feel like your hard work pays off in the end. No matter what happens on race day, I know that I’ve improved and that my body is capable of much more than I originally thought.
Thursday: REST! (ahhhh rest!) To be honest, I really didn’t want to rest today. Blergh.
Friday: 2 x 5k Tempo: I ran 1.5 w/up, 2 x 5k at 22:00 (with 1 mile recovery between 5ks), and 1 mi c/d. For some reason, I totally miscalculated and ran slower splits than I should have, but they weren’t too far off: 22:08, 22:21. I felt really good and each 5k didn’t feel too challenging—duh! because I should have been running them faster! It was Friday, ok? 🙂
Saturday: Shakeout — I spent the day running errands. When I was done, I realized my legs felt ‘locked up’ after standing and walking. I headed out for a really late shakeout around 8 pm. The air was crisp and cool. I wore my Saucony ViziPro jacket so the cars could see me in the dark. And I just let my body go until I was 3 miles away from home and had to turn around. 🙂 I didn’t intend on running 6 miles, but my body apparently wanted to.
Sunday: Tough 15-miler at 7:35 min/mile pace. This didn’t go as well it should have but mostly because I was dealing with a horrible headache for a few hours in the morning and my stomach was being weird. I tried my best to ‘recreate marathon morning’ but it didn’t quite go as planned. This was the first run in a long time that I just had to tell myself to put my head down, focus on the pavement, and keep my legs moving. I’m shocked that I met my goal pace for the entire 15 miles despite the headache and stomachache. In a weird way, I’m glad I struggled through it just to prove to myself that I can perform even when I don’t feel well.
So, within 12 hours I ran 21 miles. Today, my legs feel great. I refueled yesterday with pizza from Little Caesar’s (ha, yep!) and a few beers on the rooftop. I was finally able to spend some time alone and relaxing this weekend. Work, running, and LIFE in general has been insane lately and I’ve been struggling to keep everything in the air. Last week, I let the stress get to me and I decided to give up on things that should have been my main focus. A lot of little things derailed me from accomplishing those things that were big goals of the week. I need to learn how to focus on the moment, control what I can, and shove everything else to the side. I’m no Wonder Woman and I don’t aim to be.
I ran 50 miles in one week for the first time in my entire life. It’s not a huge weekly mileage PR but it’s a milestone nonetheless. 🙂