Twin Cities Marathon Training: Week Eight

 

Basically at the halfway point of training now! This week was almost a repeat of week 7 mileage-wise without a pace run and a slightly longer long run. At the same time I had some struggles with soreness and sleep patterns.

Monday, July 17

I was not feeling it Monday at all. My body was still recovering from the 14 mile run the day before and it didn't help that I randomly woke up at 2 a.m. that morning and it took forever for me to get back to sleep. I was dragging all day at work and ended up taking an hour of sick time to head home early. To get my work out in at least.

I knew I'd feel better if I got moving more (especially since I spend my day sitting at work) but didn't want to push it too much. I took it easy on the elliptical and dropped my weights down. I made it through but was just exhausted afterwards. The rest of the night, I took it easy, just walking Vinnie, foam rolling and an early bedtime. Just what my body needed.

Tuesday, July 18

Sleep update: still woke up randomly at 2 a.m. but I was able to fall asleep quicker. I decided to start sleeping with my phone on my side of the bed so could easily put on a podcast without disturbing Vinnie or Mike. I was feeling more refreshed that day although was staring down four miles on the treadmill after work since they were predicting thunderstorms all afternoon.

Luckily, the storms moved on much quicker than they were predicting and the sun was even coming out when I was done at work! I had packed enough things that I could either run outside or on the treadmill so of course I headed out for a run. It felt really good but I took it slow since my legs were still feeling tight after the 14 miler.

After the run, lots more foam rolling especially with the stick. I've been joking this week about having date nights with the stick roller because of how much time I'm spending with it. But after the 14 miler, I'm realizing how tight my muscles are getting if I skip it.

Wednesday, July 19

Finally, my legs are feeling completely back to normal! Just in time for my mid-week long run :) And you can tell from my first four miles (well, even the first six) how good they were feeling. Four miles under 10:51 minutes, the next two under 11:05 and it didn't even feel that hard. I was trying to slow it down in with that last mile and it made a big difference.

Foam roller time again, but at the gym since I did a morning run. I had a random guy come right next to me to do his stretching even though he had to walk by the empty stretching mats. i picked up my stuff and moved since I didn't have the room to foam roll and I was just too pissed off to do anything besides staring daggers at him. Ugh. I hate it when people don't get the idea of personal space, especially since I'm extra grumpy usually when foam rolling.

Thursday, July 20

Still didn't sleep all the way through the night so I was continuing to drag during the day. And it was going to be a hot one too with highs close to 90º. But I was feeling pretty good when I got done with work and was ready to get outside for a run no matter how hot it was.

Surprisingly, it didn't feel that bad during my run. It was the hottest temperature I've run in (thanks Smashrun for collecting those stats) but I carried water, slowed down and stuck to the shade. I was really amazed at how good I felt during my run. Sure I was super sweaty and covered in salt when I was done but it didn't feel impossible. I think I'm getting adjusted to the heat now so I'll be running outside in higher temperatures.

I'm still sticking to long foam rolling sessions after my runs and it's feeling like it's making a difference. After this run, I did about 25 minutes total and got really deep into some spots.

Friday, July 21

I was feeling really sore again on Friday, not surprising since I had just run three days in a run. I opted for Yoga Stretch, a shorter video at only 20 minutes, but I felt like it really hit the sore spots in my legs. Vinnie, of course, just lounged around on the couch while I did yoga because we had just gotten back from a walk. I like to joke that he's silently judging my yoga from the couch. Sometimes I look over and  he's staring right at me like "what are you doing?"

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Saturday, July 22

Back to running! Unlike most other Saturdays, this was not a pace run. I could have gone either way on this being a pace run or not because on I was still feeling soreness from previous runs. On the other hand, I knew it was going to be a busy day (grocery shopping and then seeing Jesus Christ Superstar and dinner with Mike's family) so it was one of those days I just wanted to get the run done.

I did make one mistake on my run. I finished my coffee way too close to when I was going to start my run. Poor planning and slow coffee drinking on my part. And I paid for it at mile 6 as you can see. Luckily, I was close to a bathroom but barely not close enough as I had to walk/run almost a full mile to the closest bathroom. I could have gone a different route when I started feeling it coming on but I thought I could make it. Next time, listening to my body and drinking my coffee faster in the mornings. For a run, I need that caffeine more than I need to relax and savor it before I head out.

Sunday, July 23

I woke up feeling really good on Sunday morning. I had set an alarm for 4:30 a.m. (to get Vinnie out for a walk and finish my coffee early enough) and I slept all the way through the night for the second night in a row! I stopped taking my melatonin earlier in the week and it's really helping. Before, I was waking up randomly when I didn't take it to I guess I just need it in cycles and haven't figured out when exactly I need it or not.

I had a 15 mile run on the schedule and Mike was very nice to drop me off and pick me up so I didn't have to drive or have my car parked in the neighborhood for three hours. I planned on doing a similar route to last Sunday's 14 miler, but with crossing over the Stone Arch bridge sooner so I could figure out where to run without randomly acting up on Nicolett Island.

My legs were feeling really heavy at the beginning so I was really surprised at my mile splits throughout the entire run. Last week's long run I think I started out with 11:30 minute miles and averaged an 11:50-ish pace. My expectations were to be around that same pace if not a little slower since my legs are really getting the miles on them. So I was really happy as I went through and most of the time I was under 12 minute miles!

 

I changed up my fueling strategy from last week's long run too. Right now, I'm carrying 9oz of water with Nuun in it and filling it up as needed. I'm taking a couple of sips and every two miles and having a Gu every six miles along with extra water. Which meant I took two Gus on this run I think it really made a difference. I'm starting to low on the mixed flavor box I bought earlier in the year so I'm probably going to be heading to a local running store to try out some new (to me) flavors soon.

Ups and downs this week but overall it felt really good! Still figured out my recovery and mobility but it's coming together. Week 9 is going to be an exact repeat of week 8, which differs from the written Hal Higdon plan. His plan calls for a half marathon race in week 9 but I usually skip what's written for the race weeks and repeat the week before. Plus, I get a massage next Friday which will be much needed!

How was your last week of training?