Twin Cities Marathon Training: Week Seven

Does it seem like summer is just speeding past us for anyone else? I could have sworn that I just started marathon training last week and now I'm at the seven week mark. It's probably because between training and the rest of my life, we are super busy in the Thiel household.

Monday, July 10

Back to a strength training workout after work but not back to feeling crabby for my workout! I don't know if it's because my body got some time to recover since last week was a cutback week or if I'm just feeling less stressed in general but it felt great.

I did my usual 15 minutes on the elliptical, doing a hill workout and trying to push myself a little harder than I normally do. I was feeling pretty good but also I was freezing cold because someone had put the AC in the apartment gym as cold as it could go and I didn't think to turn it up before I started. I turned it up once I got off of the elliptical so I wouldn't freeze while doing my weights.

Still loving my new weights workout! Like I wrote on my post from Saturday it isn't a huge change from what I was doing before. But I'm just loving what I'm doing and have even increased my weights which I wasn't expecting to do. I also got plenty of low intensity cardio after my workout since I was single dog-parenting. Mike was buying a new car (wooo for not sharing mine!) and he didn't get home until about 10:30 p.m. Of course, Vinnie decided he needed multiple walks. Pretty sure he was trying to find Mike.

Tuesday, July 11

One more day working from home so that meant I could get my run done in the morning. My runs are all being uppped this week so I had a four mile run on the schedule. It wasn't too bad outside when I left but sunny and humid so I was a sweaty mess when I got back. Still better than running in upper 80s that was the high that day.

I did pretty good with pacing the first mile but then sped it up a little too much for the second. I got it back down by the end and ended up with a 10:58 average pace. I would have liked to have more even splits but that is going to come soon enough.

After my run, I headed back home for some core and foam rolling. Yes, I am getting in my one core session each week! And my body was burning afterwards but in a great way. Foam rolling felt awesome also, I spent more time concentrating on my hamstrings than usual since that's been my problem spot recently. Counting down to my massage on Friday!

Wednesday, July 12

Another morning run and another longer run than before. I had seven miles on the schedule and this was a tough run. It might have been that I decided to run a route that was more uphill than I was used to but I a difficult time finding my pace. I was kind of up and down and all over the place.

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One thing that helped me on this run was listening to the newest episode of Runner Girls Podcast, especially the talk on easy runs. I was thinking a lot of my pace on this easy run and how it was all over the place when Sue said something along the lines of "pace won't always matter on easy runs, sometimes you have to go slower for what feels easy." I have a feeling I'll be relying on this tidbit a lot during summer training when the heat and humidity have me down.

Thursday, July 13

One more run but this time after work....and it was cooler than any of my other runs this week. We had a cold front come through and it was about 66º when I headed out. Of course, I felt a little chilly so I thought it would be good to wear a t-shirt instead of a tank. Should have known better because I got warm especially since I ran faster than my easy pace.

Also, I was so used to running three miles from the previous six weeks that I just kept on that same course until I got to about mile 2.3, looked at my watch and realized that I had to run four miles. Not three. So I weaved around trying to get an extra mile in without having to cross any streets and deal with traffic. It was also around this point that I realized that my average pace was ~10:45 and I had to pull it back. It's pretty amazing that my first two and last two miles are almost perfect splits.

On a shoe note, I think I've figured out what type of shoes I'll be wearing for race day (and I'll be buying in the future). I started off with Brooks Launch but also bought a pair of Brooks Ghosts when I started marathon training because they have more cushioning. I loved my Brooks Launch for half marathon training but the Ghosts feel amazing for long runs. A small difference but I will be buying more Brooks Ghosts and be running the marathon in them.

Friday, July 14

Friday and a massage day! I was more than excited for my massage because I had been feeling tighter than usual in my hamstrings. Little did I know how tight my legs were all over. Luckily, since I've been going to Valerie since February, she knows where I tend to have tight spots and zeroed in on those. It just felt amazing and I also got a little sleepy during it this time. Which I normally don't but I was feeling so relaxed (and I hadn't slept well the last couple of nights).

I was feeling pretty energetic after my massage and was all ready to do a yoga video. This time, focusing on the hip muscles since it's a common tight spot for runners. By the time I got towards the end, I was wiped out. Like I always am after a massage. You leave feeling so great but it takes a lot out of your body. Which is why I always do it on my rest day so I can relax after (and drink lots of water).

Saturday, July 15

I slept fine through most of Friday night, but my body decided to wake up at 3:30 a.m. and take at least half an hour to get back to sleep. And then I woke up again at 5:30 a.m. and decided to get the day going since Mike and I were going to leave at 7 for our run/bike ride. Knowing that I didn't get the greatest sleep, I wasn't excepting too much from my run.

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This was supposed to be a pace run, which meant I was aiming at 10:30 minute miles. The first three miles were negative splits, which was crazy to me, and after that I did better at pacing. I didn't have a problem with my last mile being slower since I had gone out so fast at the beginning. Plus, I had a hilly run behind me so I didn't want to push my legs too far. There's one hill on this route that's about 1/4 of a mile but just kills me whenever I try to make it up. And today, between miles 4 and 5, I ran all the way up that hill. Without stopping. I wanted to scream out when I made it to the top! And then that runner's high carried me all the way to the end, where my headphones died after I finished running.

Sunday, July 16

I'll be going more into depth about this run later this week but I had my longest long run to date (until next Sunday when I run 15 miles)! And it felt pretty good. Sure, it was sunny with stretches without shade, hot and sweaty but it felt pretty good.

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I think the reason this run felt so good was that my long run pace finally just clicked in from the beginning. There was no 10 minute miles at the start, there wasn't even any sub-11 minute miles at the start. And it kept me running for a longer amount of time. Of course towards the end I was walking up some of the hills but it was feeling good to be running.

Looking forward to next week, I have pretty similar runs except with a 15 mile long run. I will be focusing a lot on foam rolling and stretching during this next week since I'm hitting my highest mileage weeks ever and I want to make sure my body is in good shape afterwards.

How did your last week of training go?