Training Week in Review - 2/16/15 - 2/22/15

  Running in the snow to cap off my 20-miler

It's a balmy 47 degrees outside today and I can hardly believe it.  Considering the picture on the left was taken YESTERDAY with -1 degree windchill, it's unreal to me that we had such a nice day today.  But I'm not complaining!   This week has been challenging (running-wise) since we had the snowstorm on Monday night.  It was peak training week for me in my marathon buildup and I was excited to hit a new mileage high:  96 miles for the week.  Most of those were run on the treadmill due to the weather and snowy/icy roads, but I did manage to venture out a few times.

Without much further ado, let's get right into how the week shook out:

Monday:  11 miles a.m. (8:10 pace) on the treadmill.  Downton Abbey to the rescue on this one!   It hadn't snowed yet, but with temperature of 2 degrees outside and no one to run with me in the dark at 5am I took the easy way out and opted for watching Downton Abbey while I ran on the treadmill.  4 miles p.m. (8:05 pace) at the Y later on.


Tuesday:  11 miles a.m. - Ran these on the treadmill in the morning due to the 5 inches of snow we got Monday night! Ran the first 3 easy at 8:22 or so, then ran 6 intervals of 1000m at 6:22 pace, followed by a rest of about 3 minutes. I was sweating buckets and working hard!  I was happy to get these over with but would definitely have preferred to run them on the track or road. Did the rest of the cool down miles at 8:13 pace.   4 miles p.m. (8:23 pace) in the snow!  Ran in my IceBug shoes that I got for Christmas (love them - thanks for the recommendation, Sarah!) and was super happy to get outside.

Wednesday:  11 miles (8:10 pace) a.m.  Yet another treadmill run since the roads are covered in snow and ice and I wasn't comfortable running in the dark with the roads they way they are.  Thankfully the YMCA was open later in the morning so I headed over there to run my additional 4 miles p.m. (8:00 pace) followed by a core work class.  I taught BodyPump later that night so by the end of this day I was pretty darn exhausted.   Hard to believe that I ran 45 miles over 3 days - that was just about my peak weekly mileage during my first marathon training season!

Thursday:  9 miles a.m. (8:06) on my treadmill followed by 4 miles p.m. (8:32 pace) at the YMCA.  I really had to talk myself into these.  My body was so over the treadmill at this point.  Thankfully, my mom was going to the Y at the same time and we got to run side-by-side on treadmills!  That was fun and I was so thankful for her company to break up the treadmill monotony!

Friday:  8 miles (8:22 pace)  These were back on the 'mill since the roads were still bad and I couldn't risk it in the dark.  But at least there was just one run today!   Taught BodyPump at the gym and then tried not to worry that I'd destroyed my legs on the squat and lunge tracks.  I had my fingers and toes crossed that tomorrow's 20-miler would go okay.

Saturday:  20 miles (7:40 pace)  Ran this with my group but got a few in beforehand.  Felt ok but it was FREEZING with a wind chill at -1.  Felt okay and the pace was pretty good despite having to dodge lots of snow (and pick my way through several sections of sheer ice). Splits: 8:29, 8:01, 7:37, 7:44, 8:17, 7:55, 7:44, 7:16, 7:31, 7:13, 7:22, 7:21, 7:12, 7:26, 7:14, 7:19, 7:17, 7:35, 7:18, 7:20

Sunday:  6 miles a.m. (8:57 pace) Still icy outside and raining so I ran this recovery run on the treadmill this morning before church.  I felt....surprisingly fine. I think all of the miles I've been putting in have helped me recover much, much faster. I could barely tell I ran 20 yesterday.  4 miles p.m. (8:08 pace) - I was OUTSIDE!!   Hurray!  And in a long sleeve and capris because it was 37 degrees! It felt positively amazing to be outside and running.   Thanks to the warmer temps, the snow is starting to melt and most of the roads are clear.  Looking forward to more days of outside running in the coming week.

Total:  96 miles

I was very excited to successfully make it through my peak week for this season!  I am so happy to have made it this far.  After my stress fracture, I wasn't sure if I'd ever be able to successfully ramp my mileage back up to where it was - much less pass that mark and build further!  I'm so very grateful to be here.  Now I get to start slowly ramping down my mileage next week.  Then I'll officially hit the taper and really ramp it down!  I'm nervous, and saying many prayers that I make it through these next three weeks without incident.   I'm still debating on what time goal I want to try and hit for this marathon (an upcoming post will talk about this) but I just want to get to the starting line healthy with a shot at a good race.   Looking forward to next week and then making it out of the taper without losing my sanity!

Anyone tapering with me?  How do you chose your goal marathon time?  Any advice? 


In the thick of it

9 degrees on my Thursday run.  Yes, that is a hat AND an ear warmer - I know it looks awesome, don't be jealous. :)  Two months until race day.  That's it.  It seems so far away and yet frighteningly close at the same time.  8 weeks left.  Two of those (well, sort of 3) are taper, so only 6 more weeks of tough work left.   Lately, as my mileage has been increasing, my runs have included a daily prayer to the effect of "Thank you, God, for this healthy body that is able to run these distances.  Please help me get to that starting line injury-free!"   So far, my prayers are being answered.   I've been doing the best I can to keep those pesky injuries at bay by trying to make sure I get sleep, good food, and stay near my trusty foam roller.

This past week (besides being hit with a sinus infection) has been a pretty solid one:  82 miles.  The most I've run post-injury.   The bulk of my anxiety this week was due to the tempo run I had on Monday.   The schedule called for a 10-mile run with 5 miles at tempo pace.  I've been aiming for somewhere around 6:40 - mostly because I really can't go much faster at this point!  The interesting (or sad?) thing is, my goal marathon pace isn't too far off of that.  I've always been that kind of runner whose paces are pretty close to one another (i.e. my 5K pace is close to my 10K which is just about my half marathon pace and then if you add a few seconds you'll have my marathon pace!).   It probably means that I'm not pacing appropriately, but it is what it is and I just roll with it.

So.  Tempo run on Monday went....well, not great, but it wasn't awful.  I actually felt fairly decent aerobically, but just could not get the legs to move any faster!  It may have been due to all the squats and lunges in Body Pump the day before, but for whatever reason, the legs didn't have a lot of "pop".  It was in the dark on my own at 5am and felt like I was picking it up as much as I could.  Ended up averaging around a 6:43 pace.   I was feeling pretty bummed about it but decided to look back at my log from last year to boost my spirits - surely I am faster this year than I was last year, right??   You can see where this is going.   Nope.  Unfortunately I ran that exact same tempo run (same place in my schedule, same distance) last year with a friend and averaged....6:43.  UGH!   How can I not be any faster?!   I was frustrated, but here's the thing:   This is ONE run, ONE tiny snapshot of where I am right now.  And I KNOW that I am a faster, stronger runner than I was last year.   So whether or not the Garmin tells me I am, I chose to believe it.   And I'll keep plugging away, working hard and being thankful for the opportunity to be out there and do so.   Hopefully that will translate to some good results in the end, but either way, I'm enjoying the journey.  This is the thick of marathon training - double days, super early long runs in the cold and rain, and tempos that I dread each time they appear on my schedule.   But I love it.  And I'll keep at it as long as I can.

Hope everyone is having a great week this week!  I'm running in a 15K this weekend and using it to get in 9.3 marathon-paced miles.  Anyone else racing soon?  Any tips for when you expect to nail a tempo run and then don't? :-)