Twin Cities Marathon Training Week Sixteen

Monday, September 11

Finally, a well earned rest day to start out tapering! I was pretty exhausted from Bear Water Run 20 miler still so I was glad I was taking the whole day off from exercising. It also helped that I had a massage after work to look forward to.

That massage was well needed, Valerie worked on just my legs and it felt amazing. I don’t know how I’d be feeling during marathon training if I wasn’t getting massages so they are well worth the cost. And I booked my appointment for my post-marathon massage, 10 a.m. that Monday morning!

Once I got home, I just relaxed while Mike watched football with Vinnie. Luckily, Vinnie shares my enthusiasm for football so I don’t have two crazy football fans in the house. Although, Mike more than makes up for it.

Tuesday, September 12

5 miles ~ 54:59 ~ 10:58 min/mile average pace

I don’t know about the rest of the country but Minnesota is back into summer weather. It is suppose to be hot all this week (in the upper 80s) and the mornings are humid again (like 95% relative humidity). I’m hoping we get back to more fall-like temperatures before the marathon because I’m not going to be a happy camper finishing in upper 80s on Oct 1. At least for now, I can run in the mornings before work since Mike is able to take Vinnie out.

So, back to my first run of tapering. My mile splits were kind of up and down but at least even in how they were up and down. Like I talked about in my post about how I’m pacing during my taper, I’m trying not to look at my watch during my easy runs except for my mile splits. Which is tough because I’m realizing how dependent I am at looking at my watch. But I’m trying to not worry about it and just run easy as my mileage continues to go down.

I did get in some foam rolling before my run and a little bit after work as well. My calves are really tight from last week (I would say from the 20 mile run but I know they were tight before that) so I’m just going to be focusing on getting that foam rolling in. Which is another thing I’ve been having trouble with since I’ve been running before work more often.

Wednesday, September 13

6 miles ~ 1:05:51 ~ 10:56 min/mile average pace

Wednesday Run.jpg

I had to look back at my calendar to see when the last time I ran six miles on a Wednesday was. It was June 28, which was a treadmill run. My last outside six mile Wednesday run was the week before that, on June 21. I was a month into marathon training. It’s a good thing I checked to see when the last time I ran that was because I couldn’t think about what route I was running to get to six miles.

Once again, the theme is mile splits going up and down in pace. I’m mostly in the 10:50-11:10 range which is feeling good but it’s in no way even splits. For this run, my splits were: 10:41, 11:01, 10:51, 11:07, 11:08 and 10:55. Still going out at my fastest pace but it felt good still.
I think that first mile was a little bit funky too because something went wrong with my watch. I was at what would have been about ¼ mile in and noticed my watch wasn’t tracking my mileage. I have no idea what was wrong because I just stopped the run, restarted it and it was fine. I had gotten the beep that I had 100% GPS signal before I started the run too and I haven’t had that happen before. Hopefully, it was a one time thing.

Thursday, September 14

5 miles ~ 55:13 ~ 11:00 min/mile average pace

It was a lot easier getting out for this run than last week’s Thursday run. It probably helps that it was warmer outside. There’s something about going outside when it’s dark and cold that makes me just want to stay inside and have a cup of coffee instead of going for a run. It also helped that I knew it was going to be almost 90° when I got done with work.

Still, it wasn’t an easy run. Sure it was a comfortable temperature but it was humid! Pretty sure I was more sweaty after this run than the 20 miles at Bear Water Run which is pretty crazy. But at least I felt more comfortable about not paying attention to my watch for every second of the run and had more even splits (with the exception of one 10:49 that I don’t remember why I decided to speed up).

I decided to take the time to do some foam rolling after my run instead of skipping it like I have been and it was the best decision I made. I didn’t feel as stiff at work as I did on Tuesday and I didn’t have any cramping. I really need to take the time to do even a little bit of foam rolling after every run.

Friday, September 15

I worked from home with Vinnie on Friday as we were waiting for one of the maintenance guys to fix our toilet (he finally came around 3 p.m. but we have a toilet that flushes!) so Vinnie and I got in some good walks. It also meant that I wasn’t sure when I’d be getting in my workout since I didn’t want Vinnie to be kenneled up with the guy came and then he’s going crazy in his kennel.

I finally got in my cross-training for the week (since I took Monday as my rest day) and it felt pretty good. The only thing that bothered me was I had some knee pain while doing squats. That isn’t normal at all for me, although it was the knee that tends to get twisted easily. I ended up skipping my last two set of squats but none of my other lower body leg movements were bothering it and it hadn’t been hurting on my run the day before. Hopefully, this close to the marathon, it was just some random stiffness working itself out of my leg.

Saturday, September 16

4 miles ~ 41:40 ~ 10:21 min/mile average pace

Saturday Run.jpg

One last pace run for this cycle of marathon training! I got a good night of sleep (thanks to Benadryl and not setting an alarm) and got out for my run at about 8 a.m. Mike was going to come along on his bike but decided to stay at home since Vinnie would be kenneled up in the afternoon while we saw Aladdin.

Now it hasn’t been quite that long since I ran a four mile run (my last one was August 1) but I can’t remember the last time that I ran four miles on a Saturday. It was so strange to do one loop around the lake and then head back home. In some ways, I was grateful it was only four miles because it was so humid still! It had been raining a little bit after I got up but nowhere close enough to break the humidity. But looking into the extended forecast is highs in the 60s for the last week of September!

This pace run felt really great, even though I was drenched in sweat. I had to be careful not to go too fast (and still ended up being a little faster than a 10:30 average pace) but no knee problems which was my main worry after yesterday’s workout! So now it’s just a slid into the marathon with no more pace runs on the calendar.

Sunday, September 17

12 miles ~ 2:09:31 ~ 10:46 min/mile average pace

Fourteen days to the Twin Cities Marathon. The last double digit long run until the marathon. This was a big milestone for me because now I really feel like I’m going into tapering. I’ve been running double digit long runs since July 10 and now the longest mileage I have is eight. All my other runs coming up are five miles or below.

It was a gorgeous morning for a run. The sun was out but it was cool (right around 50°) and it’s once again fall in Minnesota. Well, for the next couple of days and then we go up and down again in temperature. But today was just perfect. Mike headed out on his bike separately from me so that Vinnie wouldn’t be in his kennel for too long this morning (and didn’t have that great of a ride since he discovered his tires were partially deflated about 2 miles into it).

I headed south from St. Thomas University, planning to head to a new to me spot that Mike had biked to a couple of weeks ago (when we had some miscommunication). Most the the run was along the river in St. Paul, which is gorgeous. Especially now that the trees and sumac are starting to turn colors along the path. I finally ended up in Crosby Farm Park, which was an amazing place to run. I got to do a couple of miles running in the woods and it might be my new favorite place to run. So many of my runs have been in the downtown (or neighborhood) areas and it was great to be out in the woods without any buildings around.

On the way back from, right after I mile 10, I tripped over something. It might have just been the air because I’m clumsy like that. But all of a sudden, I was down on all fours. I picked myself up quickly and did check. No blood at all, I had maybe a little bit of a scrape on one knee and my wrists felt a little sore. So, even though I’m clumsy, still no injuries during marathon training!

So now onto week seventeen of training! I'll be up in St. Cloud for a wedding Friday and Saturday which will be fun! Lots of short runs this week (haha, the idea of now eight miles being short is laughable) and it's going to really feel like tapering.

How was your training this week?