It feels strange to be less than two months out from the Twin Cities marathon. It seems like I just started training yesterday and now I'm up to seventeen miles! I'm getting more nervous the closer it gets but I just have to keep on following the training plan and trusting it.
Monday, July 31
I felt so good this Monday. And that’s something that hasn’t happened in a while. I slept right through the night which helped and I wasn’t feeling sore (or at least too sore) from my 15 mile run.
I really needed that boost because Mondays were starting to feel like a drag. I was dreading doing my weights workout which is something that had ever happened before. Being energized and back on track motivation wise was just awesome.
Tuesday, August 1
First run of the month! And remember when I said in last week’s recap that my short runs were going up to five miles? Yeah, they are still at four miles for this week. Of course, I was thinking I was doing five miles until right up to the point where I went to start my run and my watch said four miles.
In the end, having a little shorter run was probably a good thing because it was extremely hot. 87 and sunny. Of course, I skipped the treadmill and still ran outside (carrying water and wearing a hat). Luckily there was a bit of a breeze so it wasn’t just still, hot air. I took advice from recent Runner’s Girls Podcast episode and just ran at a pace that felt easy.
You know what? It felt pretty good. I was at a slower pace but kept pretty even mile splits during the run. And I was so glad I only ended up having four miles instead of five. After talking with Mike, I’m going to do my Tuesday runs in the morning from now on and he’ll take Vinnie on a pre-work walk. Which will work out great since I usually am running around like crazy Tuesdays after work and don’t get a chance to eat dinner until after 7 p.m.
Wednesday, August 2
Now this run actually did step up in mileage to eight miles! I was planing on mapping out a route ahead of time but totally forget about it until this morning. So, I just did my normal seven miles and added a little bit extra towards the end.
Now this was a great feeling run. It was in the mid-60s when I started and a slight breeze. So much better than the almost 90 degrees run the day before (or the last Wednesday). Everything just felt good and I kept up a little faster than easy pace at the beginning and then reined it in at the end.
I’m just really loving my morning runs and appreciating them them more and more when I have to run in the heat.It’s also nice to be running in weather a little bit more similar to what the end of race day will be and getting used to that temperature.
Thursday, August 3
Remember how it was about 90 on my Tuesday run after work? Complete opposite for my Thursday run. It had rained during the day and we had a cold front come through so it wasn’t even 60. After the last couple weeks of hot runs it felt heavenly.
Plus, this was a taste of what race day weather would be like. Early October in Minnesota is pretty gorgeous weather-wise. The Twin Cities Marathon starts at about 8 a.m. (guessing I’ll be crossing the finish line by 8:30 but I’ll know for sure when I get my corral assignment). It will probably be right around freezing (when I ran the 10 mile last October I wore a long sleeved shirt and pants) and getting up into the mid or high 50s by the time I finish. Which will be interesting for planning out what I’m wearing.
Back to my Thursday run. It was hard to keep myself from going faster than my easy pace because going faster felt easy. I ended up just going about what felt easy after the first two miles and ended up with even splits for the end of my run. Which I was pretty impressed by. I think if I hadn’t been running into the wind (it hasn’t been windy since May-ish on my runs) for mile 2 I would have been sub-11 minute miles for the whole run.
I could tell afterwards that I had worked my legs hard during the run even though it felt like an easy pace. After I did my core workout (yay I finally got it in!) I spent a lot of time foam rolling my calves and hamstrings.
Friday, August 4
Yay for a rest day! I was feeling pretty sore from the mileage (not surprising since I’ll be at 41 miles by Sunday) so I was glad that I didn’t have anything to do today besides yoga.
One fun thing I did was stop my Run ‘n Fun, a local running running store, to pick up “a couple” Gus. I still have some in the box that I ordered earlier this year but I knew they wouldn’t make it through these last two months of marathon training and I wanted to try some of the indulgent flavors. I ended up leaving with nine different flavors of Gu and two containers of Nuun, they had a ton of different flavors of both! Plus, I got a 10% discount on everything. I could order a container of Gu (and probably Nuun) cheaper from the companies directly but I love supporting local stores and this gives me a chance to try new things.
For yoga, I did the Yoga for Tired Legs video because my legs were really feeling it. I could have sworn I had done this one before but I didn’t remember ever doing some of the positions. It felt so good and I also spent some time in corpse pose after (mainly because I didn’t want to get up). You’ll probably see me doing this video more often on Fridays, and maybe throwing it in on other days, as I continue to climb in mileage.
Saturday, July 5
Finally back to doing a pace run! It was upped in mileage (eight instead of seven) and this time I figured out a course ahead of time. It was a cool morning but I knew I’d heat up quickly because I was aiming for a 10:30 pace.
I ended up going faster than that 10:30 pace for most of my run. Early on in my first mile I saw around a 9:34 average pace and knew I had to to slow it down. I’m pretty sure it was a combination of the cooler weather and not having a pace run in three weeks but I only had one mile around the 10:30 mark.
It felt really good to run that fast. I was pushing myself a little bit at points where it was hilly but I was surprised that I could go at that pace without much of a problem. Of course, I’m going to have to learn to reign it in so I don’t go out too fast on race day and end up hitting the wall super early. I think sticking with a pacer that’s around 10:30 will help a lot with that.
Sunday, August 6
Long run day again and I was a little bit nervous about it. Mike and I had gone to a comedy show the night before so we didn’t get to bed until close to 11 p.m. And my alarm was going to go off at 5 a.m. I was going to be running 17 miles on about six hours of sleep. And I didn’t want to sleep in any later because I was already figuring I’d finish my run about 10: 30 a.m. and the sooner I finished the less hot it would it be.
After having my bowl of oatmeal with strawberries and peanut butter and my coffee,.I packed three Gus for this run and headed out with Mike. It’s so nice not having to worry about driving to where I’m running and back since Mike’s dropping me off and picking me up. It was drizzling a little bit and was overcast so there wasn’t really anyone else around on the trails. And I headed out.
And it wasn’t too bad of a run starting off. The sun started coming out (thank goodness I was wearing my hat since I didn’t wear my sunglasses) and more people were around me. I switched up my fueling strategy to sipping my Nuun water (which slowly turned into plain water as I refilled my half-empty container a couple of times) every time miles and taking a Gu every five. All three flavors I took along (Chocolate Outrage, Peanut Butter and Tri-Berry) were delicious, the chocolate one was just like frosting which I loved!
I started struggling about mile 11 and switched from an audiobook to podcasts about mile 13. I didn’t run completely out of gas but the lack of sleep really affected those later miles. And the mileage I already had on my legs. But I felt like I finished as strong as I could, . Even though I took a couple of walking breaks in mile 16, I ran (slowly) up most of the hill at the end of my run and finished it off running. And treated myself to five Red Velvet Oreos when I got home (after my protein smoothie). Best reward ever because I was craving something sweet when I got done.
41 miles done for the week. My first week over 40 miles and next week it’s only going up! My shortest runs next week will be 5 miles (for real this time) and my long run will be 18 miles. I’ll also be running on vacation next week since we are camping Tuesday through Saturday. At least I know I’ll get enough sleep before my 18 mile long run! The only camping plan we have is going to see Mike’s parents and sisters for a walk and dinner and they’ll understand if we head out early.
How did your last week go?