Twin Cities Marathon Training: Week Nine

The halfway point in training is here! It's a repeat of last week mileage wise (and in terms of my sleep schedule being a little bit screwy) plus more heat! I just keep on thinking, it's going to feel amazing racing in October. 

Monday, July 24

Once again, my sleep schedule decided to be screwy. I had two good nights in a row and then I woke up a couple of times Monday morning between 2-4:30 a.m. (when my alarm went off). I'm hoping to get this figured out at some point since it's really throwing a wrench into my life.

That meant that my goal for Monday's strength training was just to make it through it with good form. I shortened my time on the elliptical to 10 minutes and lowered some of my weights. And I got through it. I was exhausted but I got through it. I wasn't feeling too horrible after it either although I was ready for bed by 8 p.m. Such is marathon training life right now.

Tuesday, July 25

I slept better Monday night, I only woke up once at about 11 p.m. and got back to sleep pretty quickly. I was still feeling pretty exhausted by the end of the day when I went to run so it was another "just get it done" workout. I also forgot my Flipbelt so I had to run without anything playing in my ears. That didn't make this run any easier.

It didn't make it easier that storms were about to roll in (we got downpoured on about an hour after I finished my run) so it was super humid. Of course, I decided to run in just my sports bra and skort because the extra fabric from a tank top would have been extra wet weight on me by the end of mile 1. So I'm running, without headphones on, in my sports bra, with lots of people around me and traffic on the roads. Fun times dealing with self-doubt during those miles because I'm a marathoner who deals with body confidence issues.

But I made it through. It wasn't easy either physically or mentally but it's made me a little stronger. And at least I know come race day, it shouldn't be 80-something degrees and super humid.

Wednesday, July 26

Storms were suppose to roll in Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning. Thunderstorms. In the morning. When I do my mid-week long run. I kept on refreshing the hourly forecast. There was no way I was going to do seven miles on the treadmill. Finally, later in the day on Tuesday, it started looking like the storms were going to clear sooner. When I went to bed Tuesday night, storms were going to stop at about 9 a.m. Well, I thought that if it was just rain in the morning I'd run outside then. And if not, I'd leave work at 2 p.m. and run then.

I woke up at 4 a.m. to thunderstorms. Looked at the forecast and thunderstorms still until 9 a.m. I thought, ok, I'll just stick with the plan of leaving work early and running. Not my best idea.

I had a stressful day at work and was worn out already by the time I left. On top of that, it was hot and muggy even though storms had passed through earlier. The air was just thick. And here I was with seven miles to do. I headed out, trying to keep my pace nice and easy which lasted for the first four miles. And then the wheels started coming off. I felt horrible by the time I was done. Luckily, Mike was home so I texted him to unlock the apartment door and then had him get my stuff while I tried to cool off in the apartment and chug water. I didn't even foam rolling after my run. I just wanted to shower and be done with the run. It was the worst run I've ever had. It just sucked.

Thursday, July 27

Another running day, another repeat of weather. Hot once again and I was running after work. I felt better prepared for this one after Wednesday's horrible run. For one thing, it was only four miles. And I made sure to have more water closer to my run so I was hydrated (not the pop I had before Wednesday's run). I knew it wasn't going to be a great run and prepared myself mentally for it.

And I was right. Not a great run, every single mile my time got slower and I was walking more. But that was ok. I kept on repeating that it was fine. I had a rough day on Wednesday and I was feeling tight from not foam rolling after the seven mile run. And it was still hot as ever. I made it through that run just repeating that it was going to be better on race day.

One thing that came out of this run was thinking that I might move my Thursday runs to later in the night. It might only be a couple of degrees cooler but I won't be running in direct sunlight (which is probably the worst part). So I'll probably try that out next Thursday and see if it makes any difference. 

Friday, July 28

Finally Friday and massage day! I had a spot on my hamstring (almost right in the middle) that was feeling sore at the beginning of my runs so I was excited for Valerie to work on my legs. Afterwards, she said that spot was "interesting" in where it was tight (almost right where the two muscles meet) and she showed me how to foam roll my hamstrings to hit that spot better. Next time, she's going to work in that spot a little deeper with some wooden implements if the foam rolling doesn't help.

After my massage, I headed home to take Vinnie on a walk and do some yoga. I was pretty worn out from my massage (even though all I did was lay there my muscles got a workout) and was thinking about maybe skipping yoga. I decided instead to do something a little less intense and decided on "Yoga for Digestive Flow" which I knew would lots of the twisting positions I love. 



Saturday, July 29

It literally felt chilly when I took Vinnie on a walk before my morning run. I was so excited after the crappy, hot runs I had this week to get in a cooler run (even though I knew I wouldn't be chilly for long on the run).

This was suppose to be an easy paced run but I decided to just let my legs do what felt good since I'd been running int he heat so much. When ended up being a faster six miles (not quite at marathon pace) followed by a slower final miles to cool down. It was also great that Mike joined me for part of the run on his bike so I felt like I wasn't alone. Back at home, I hit the foam roller (focusing on my hamstrings a little more than usual) then went to the gym for some sauna time before grocery shopping. Where I picked up some Red Velvet Oreos because I'm switching up my calories for the rest of marathon training. More on that coming later this week.

Sunday, July 30

One last run to round out the month and it was another 15 miles. It was cool Saturday morning but I knew it wouldn't last long just because I was going to be running for almost three hours. Mike (and Vinnie) brought me down to the river so I didn't have to worry about driving back post-run (and then Mike set off on a bike ride from home). I warmed up with my dynamic moves and then started out on the run feeling good. No heavy feelings in my legs or anything!

My mile splits were up and down during the run. Looking back, it was the uphill sections that I slowed down on which makes sense. Still, only one 13 minute mile (which was uphill, in full sun) even though I was feeling like I wanted to stop during that. I also made it up the mile 21 hill (which was at about mile 13.5 on this run) without stopping! It's really feeling to good to tackle that hill at the end of every run.

I wasn't feeling too bad afterwards and walked around trying to keep my legs moving while I waited for MIke and Vinnie to pick me up. However, I managed to tweak my back at some point after we got home. I don't know exactly when but it might have been getting out of cold bath after I finished a beer. Hopefully it loosens up soon since it's still feeling stiff after a couple of hours.


Next week, the mileage goes up on every run. My short runs will be 5 miles, my mid-length ones 8 and my long run will be 17 miles. Which means I'll be mapping out some new routes. The weather is looking cooler (because of rain) so hopefully no more dying on my weekday runs. And maybe some runs in the rain which hasn't happening in a while!

How was your last week of training?