Twin Cities Marathon Training Week 13

Monday, August 21

It was eclipse day but cloudy (and rainy) in Minnesota so I just lived vicariously through everyone’s posts on Instagram and Twitter. I did manage to get an extra walk in before it started raining which was nice.

Otherwise, not too much activity outside of my workout which is fine with me. Even on the days I’m not running, I’m trying to get at least 10,000 steps in to make sure I’m getting up and away from the computer at work. And I more than make up for that on the days I run!

Monday Weights.jpg

Nothing too much to report on from my strength training. I’m really glad I changed it up again (and will probably be even more glad after my 20 mile run next week) since I was feeling a little bit stiff from my runs still. Once I got warmed up on the elliptical, I felt looser and ready to hit the weights.

I usually do my workouts at my apartment’s gym so usually there’s someone else in there but I got the gym to myself the entire time! Of course, the first thing I did when I got in was turn off the AC since it was freezing in there. It was a super nice change not to share that space with anyone else since it’s pretty small (especially if you want a place to use the dumbbells).

Tuesday, August 22

Week two of 5 a.m. Tuesday runs and I’m still getting used to it. Probably a combination of it being so dark out and that I haven’t slept through the night in a couple of weeks. Probably since I was on vacation.

Surprisingly, this run felt really good. As in I had sub-11 minute miles the entire time! Which was completely insane to me since I haven’t been doing that at all. Plus, it didn’t feel like I was pushing myself which bodes well for the marathon.

I was planning on doing core work after work but I was feel pretty stiff and tired so opted just for foam rolling instead. Which was probably the best choice I could make since I can get in core another day. Getting so close to the marathon, making sure I’m getting in enough mobility and taking care of my body is a top priority.

Wednesday, August 23

I could have sworn when I got up that I had done an eight mile mid-week run at home before but I hadn’t! I had done one while camping but the longest before that at home was seven miles. Good thing I remembered that before heading out or else I might have just gone on my usual seven mile route. Luckily, I’ve done a couple of eight mile Saturday runs so I had a route planned out for that already.

Wednesday Run.jpg

This almost felt like a repeat of Tuesday’s run, just for an extra three miles (and it wasn’t dark for it either). It felt super easy and I ended up with most of my miles sub-11 (except for my first and last). I really feel like I’m gaining some speed at the end of marathon training, not enough to change my marathon training paces but enough to know it’s all working. I wanted to try and slow it down to my 11:07 easy pace but at the same time, why not run faster if it’s feeling easy? Especially since it felt easier than running at a slower pace.

Unfortunately, I took a couple of missteps on this run and managed to twist my knee some. Nothing really bad but enough that I iced it a couple times throughout the workday and decided  to skip knitting group so I could let it rest. Which meant a nice warm epsom salt bath and taping it up. Just another reminder that even though training is going great, I’ve got to pay attention to where I’m stepping on my runs.

Thursday, August 24

After having two great, fast paced runs already this week, I was preparing myself mentally for this to be a tougher run. Especially after twisting my knee the day before. But at least it was wonderful weather for running and I was doing my first run in my new Brooks Ghosts (that will be my race shoes for the upcoming Bear Water Run 20 miler).

Thursday Run.jpg

After the first mile, I realized I was going to have to do the opposite, mentally prepare myself to get my pace down. I ended up with all five miles under 11 minutes but I had pretty awesome splits as I tried to slow down. I just couldn’t believe it. Marathon training is an amazing thing in terms of how fast you get on shorter runs.

Once I got back from my run, I got in my core work and foam rolling. Even though the run felt great, my calves were so sore once I started digging into them. They seemed to be feeling better after some foam rolling which was a good sign.

Friday, August 25

Nothing too much to report since it was my rest day. I did some yoga, although not the whole video but most of it. I just wasn’t feeling into it at the time and didn’t want to push myself it wasn’t something I wanted to do.

I was able to go to a meetup at Summit Brewery with a group of other first timers for the Twin Cities Marathon which was lots of fun. It was nice meeting people in person after talking in the private Facebook group for the last couple of months. I only stayed for an hour, being an introvert I can only handle groups of strangers for so long, and spent the night at home with Mike and Vinnie watching TV.

Saturday, August 26

For the last couple of days, I was planning that I’d have to do my pace run on the treadmill. It was suppose to rain on Saturday and for a while it was looking like it would either thunder storming and raining heavy in the morning. So I was excited when I took Vinnie out and there was no rain at all.

Saturday Run.jpg

Outside on a run I went and beat most of the storms. It started raining some on the last mile but that felt good. I had five miles at marathon pace, which you might remember is 10:30 minute miles. My pace averaged out to 10:06 with some excellent even splits in there. My plan for the marathon is still to go either with the 10:30 or 10:45 pacer but it’s nice to feel my pace picking up.

One thing I did learn from this run is there is no way I’ll be wearing long sleeves through the entire marathon. I threw on a long sleeved running shirt before I went out the door but had to take it off after the first mile because I was getting too hot. The temperature on my run was just around 60° which is about average for the high on race day. Of course, I’ll have to wear some layers for before (standing around outside in what could be around freezing weather) but I’ll probably end up running in a tank top and shorts. Good thing I have some time to test out what will feel best on race day before then!

Sunday, August 27

I was nervous about my long run this week since when I did 18 miles two weeks ago, I had leg cramps for the last three miles. So, adding on another two miles was scary. But based on how my weekday runs were going, I was hopeful.

I’ll be doing a full blost post about my first 20 mile run later this week but I had an amazing time! It was the perfect running weather, cloudy in the 60s but without any rain. I felt really strong the entire time and didn’t have any leg cramps at all (probably because of a combination of the cupping and taking salt tabs on the run). And I finished faster than I thought I would with a final time of 3:55:55.

Next week is another cutback week! Three five miles runs during the workweek, with an easy eight miles on Saturday and twelve on Sunday (followed by a trip to the Minnesota State Fair and lots of food and beer). I already am planning on not doing weights this week and instead going on the bike since my legs were killing me during my weights after my 18 mile run.

How was your last week of training?