Twin Cities Marathon Training: Week Twelve

A cutback week for me! Still having problems with sleeping but at least I had less mileage on my legs plus I got a pace run in which felt awesome. So let’s get to it!

Monday, August 14

So, after having a really good streak of sleeping, my body decided to turn against me early Monday morning. I woke up at about 1 a.m. and just couldn’t get back to sleep for at least an hour. Not a good thing when it was my first day back at work after camping and I had meetings most of the day.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t feeling too tired after work. I didn’t have much extra caffeine, just a cup of tea in addition to my normal coffee, but I still didn't want to push too hard during my workout. I warmed up with fifteen minutes on the elliptical and then started out with weights.

I had changed up my strength training routine to make it easier on my legs post-long run. No more vertical swings since that’s what had worn me out last week. Instead, I switched them out from a seated leg press which felt much better. With the changes I made to what moves I was doing along with going down slightly in weights (to 15 and 20 lbs dumbbells), my body felt much better afterwards. Still a little stiff but nowhere as drained as I felt last week.

Tuesday, August 15

I got some better sleep Monday night. Although Vinnie did stick his foot into my bladder around 1 a.m. and then when I went to the bathroom, he stole my spot in the bed. Luckily, he’s pretty easy to move.

I tried out something new for my Tuesday run, getting out as soon as possible. As I’ve talked about before, Tuesdays get to be a really busy day for me. Mike works late so I’m on Vinnie duty in addition to getting my run and foam rolling in. So Mike agreed to take Vinnie on his morning walk on Tuesdays so I can run once he gets up and not have to worry about that after work.

One thing I didn’t realize was how dark it would be at 5 a.m. so I had to scramble to find AAA batteries for my headlamp before heading out (but at least we had them!). It was a great run, no pain or cramping during it at all, and I had a really nice pace on it. I still don’t know I got that 10:45 for the last mile but I’ll take it!

After work, Vinnie and I went on a walk and I got in both some foam rolling and core work. I got in a couple of quick stretches after my run (not the best I know!) so it felt great to get on the foam roller. Since my legs aren’t getting a lot of mileage on them this week, I’m focusing more on foam rolling.

Wednesday, August 16

I wasn’t sure if I was going to get my Wednesday run in on the treadmill or outside when I went to bed Tuesday night. There was rain and thunderstorms in the forecast so I started mentally preparing myself for the treadmill.

Wednesday Run.jpg

Luckily, it looked like there was going to be break in the rain between 6 and 8 a.m. Just enough time to get in my run since I only had five miles (how strange it is to say only five miles. Yeah, well that didn’t work out too great for me. I hit mile 3 on my run and it started raining. No thunder or lightning but pretty heavy rain at points for the last two miles. By the time I was done, I was soaked and still had to go to the gym to do foam rolling. Thankfully my car has heated seats that helped me warm up a little on the drive to the gym.

My splits for this run were really funky, I think it’s because I kept on trying to speed up and slow down to try and hit right around an 11 minute pace and I’m just not able to physically tell what pace I’m running. And I’m still messing around with my watch to figure out what stats to show to get me the information I want. Maybe I’ll have it figured out by the end of this training cycle.

Wednesday Run Splits.png

Thursday, August 17

Another five miles on a rainy morning (it seems to be the theme for the week). Normally, I wouldn’t be doing my Thursday run in the morning but I was co-hosting an episode of Runner Girl’s Podcast that night so I had no choice but to get it down in the morning.

It was raining pretty consistently the whole five miles but at least I had my hat this time so I could see while I was running. I also had pretty consistent pacing, except for the last mile, which felt really good for it being a Thursday run on an empty stomach. Once I got home, i was rushing to get ready for an out-of-town conference that day.

Recording with Sue and Meagan of Runner Girl’s went really great that night. I was a little nervous since I was going to be on the entire show but once we started talking it come really naturally. And, of course, it’s awesome to talk with other people who love running as much as you do! Fun fact: Vinnie fell off the bed while I was recording, he was in there with Mike and just rolled off. I heard a little yelp but I doubt you could pick it up on the recording.

Friday, August 18

Friday Yoga.jpg

Massage and yoga day! I had a morning massage, which I haven’t done in a while, and it was well needed. Valerie went a little deeper than she had in the past and also did some cupping on the quad that cramped up on last week’s 18 miler. Hopefully that negative pressure helped release the fascia a little and get some more blood flowing in there.

The rest of the day, I felt super drained after the massage. Even just getting up off the table I felt a lot more light headed than I usually do. Getting a sports massage isn’t relaxing, it’s like a workout that I don't’ move my body for!  So I wasn’t sure if I was going to do yoga or not. Once I got home and got Vinnie on a walk, I decided to do just a really light, stretching yoga video. It felt really good while I was doing it but I was feeling pretty sleepy once I was done.

Saturday, August 19

Finally another pace run! After running easy runs the past two weeks and having a cutback race, I was ready to run fast.

Saturday Run.jpg

And did I start out fast! I had the Hamilton soundtrack playing in my ears as I always do on my pace runs (it is my recommended on the episode of Runner Girls Podcast that I’m on) which always pumps me up and keeps me motivated. As a reminder, my marathon pace is 10:30 minutes/mile. My first four miles were all below 10:15 and only one of those was above 10:10.

Yes, I went too fast but I didn’t totally blow it out in the end. Mile five was 10:45 due to walking and trying to stretch out my right shoulder (I tend to tighten up on that side and it was really bother me). But those last three miles still felt really great and they were closer to my marathon pace. I’ve only got three pace runs left so my goals for those are to get better at sticking to a 10:30 pace from the start.

I felt really great afterwards, although after running to the gym for foam rolling and grocery shopping my left knee was bothering me a little bit. I wasn't in pain but it did feel like I had misstepped and twisted it so I put a strip (cut in half) of KT tape across the bump right below my knee for a little bit extra support. I’ve had this happen a couple times during training in the past and it helps a lot and I’m usually back to normal within a day or two.

Sunday, August 20

I got a later start on my long run and paid for it in the end. Since I was “only” doing 13 miles, I figured Mike could sleep in until 7 a.m. (he was going to be joining me on his bike) and we’d be starting out at about 7:45 a.m. It was supposed to be mostly cloudy in the morning so I also didn’t grab my sunglasses. Another mistake.

Sunday Run.jpg

Mike and I ended up (on accident) going two completely different ways. I had told him “let’s make our first meeting place High Bridge” when I really meant the bridge on Ford Parkway. So he biked 6 miles down towards downtown Saint Paul before figuring I might have said the wrong thing. And I was going the opposite direction towards downtown Minneapolis. At least Mike got in his longest bike ride yet (just over 12 miles) and saw a goat!

The forecast was wrong about the cloud cover. At around three miles in, the sun was out in full force and I didn’t even have my hat. And it got warm quick. I felt like i was starting to struggle as I got close to my turnaround point at the Guthrie but got treated to downhill sections once I turned around which might have saved my legs. I hit another struggle point at mile 10 (again, more hills) but got back on track pretty quickly and felt like I finished pretty strong considering it was almost 80°and sunny.

One good thing was that I didn’t feel any cramps in my quad like my last long run but I feel like that quad was pretty tight. It even started cramping when I rolled it with my stick roller which I haven’t had happen before. I did order some salt tablets on Sue’s recommendation during the podcast recording that are arriving on Monday so I’ll be trying those out on next Sunday’s long run. Hopefully between that and the cupping, I won’t have any more cramping problems.

My mileage is going back up for the next week of training. Two five and an eight mile run during the week, a five mile pace run on Saturday and then the first of two 20 milers on Sunday! I’ve got to figure out my salt tablet and fueling strategy for that 20 miler still but my plan is to get out earlier than I did for this week’s long run. Mike and I are going to take care of his parent’s dog next weekend so I can leave right from their house for my run and get down to the river which will be nice.

How was your training this past week?