Twin Cities Marathon Training Week Seventeen

Monday, September 18

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Back to my normal Monday cross-training which felt really good! I wasn’t able to get out for a walk at work because it was raining so I was excited to get moving some more. I’m trying not to make it so I’m getting antsy about not being as active during the week during taper but I have a feeling it’s going to happen.

One good thing is I didn’t have any knee pain while doing squats! Whatever was bothering my knee last week was just a one-off thing. I was also surprised that I didn’t have any soreness in arm since I had gotten my flu shot earlier in the day. Of course, I did feel that soreness when I went to bed and tried laying on that side.

Tuesday, September 19

4 miles ~ 43:49 ~ 10:54 min/mile average pace

I haven’t run after work in forever and it was not the best choice this day. Mike had offered to take Vinnie on a walk in the morning so I could run but I declined. It was only supposed to be in the 70s and since I’m tapering, my runs are shorter. No problem, right?

Wrong. This was I struggled with. Yes, I had a sub-11 minute pace but this entire run I just wanted to give up. My calves were so tight after work (and of course I didn’t do my normal dynamic warmup before) that I had to stop twice on this run to stretch them out against a tree. I’ve never had to do that (although probably there have been runs where I should have) but my calves just felt like rocks.

I made it through to the end, promptly laying down in the grass afterwards because I felt like death. After dragging myself to the apartment and taking Vinnie on a walk (which got him all excited since he saw one of his doggy friends on our way back), I took time to get re-acquainted with the foam roller. I’ll admit, I haven’t been foam rolling lately like I did at the beginning of training and it’s showing. So hopefully get back to more foam rolling and not wearing heels at work will cut down on the my calf tightness.

Wednesday, September 20

5 miles ~ 56:48 ~ 11:19 min/mile average pace

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Back to running in the morning and this felt so much better! It was really humid (even though we’d had some storms roll through overnight) but my legs felt awesome. I think what made this run feel much better was that I slowed down my pace and didn’t look at my watch at all (except to check that it was tracking my mileage in the first ¼ mile or so).

But it just felt so good and smooth. I’m hoping I continue this habit of slowing down on my runs and not trying to rush through them as tapering continues. I remember getting nervous during my training for Lake Minnetonka Half that I wouldn’t be able to run fast enough to get a sub 2:15 time since I’d been going so slow using heart rate training. But I did have that speed and still do so hopefully I can remember that during the rest of tapering and not freak out about the marathon (as much). I’m hoping to do a sub-5 hour marathon which is totally doable for me. That’s a 11:27 average pace and I’m planning on going out with the 4:45 pace group (10:52 average pace) so I should have no problems making it. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 21

4 miles ~ 41:37 ~ 10:22 min/mile average pace

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Mike took Vinnie on his morning walk so I could get my run in before work and I had such a better run than Tuesday! It was much cooler outside (I could see my breathe a little bit) and my legs were feeling nice and loose. My first mile was just a little bit below 11:00 but the rest were much faster, right around 10:15. Which is so surprising to me because it didn’t feel like I was working that hard. Maybe it was the cool weather, maybe it was the extra time I’ve spend foam rolling the previous two days.

Whatever it was, hopefully it holds up for race day! I don’t want to be going out super fast but feeling like it isn’t as hard as it is would be an awesome feeling. Keeping my fingers crossed and doing what I’ve been doing!

Friday, September 22

3 miles ~ 32:00 ~ 10:34 min/mile average pace

We had a wedding up in St. Cloud Friday night so Mike and I both took the day off. I originally was going to do my run up in St. Cloud Saturday morning but the forecast looked like a lot of thunderstorms so I decided to do it Friday morning instead. No rain, but lots of humidity. The heat was continuing in the Cities and wasn’t going to break for a couple more days. I finished my run at 7 a.m. and it was already in the low 70s and 90% humidity.

I’m so glad this heat is going to break for the Twin Cities marathon because I was soaked after just a three mile run in this weather. It was a really great feeling run though which I was surprised at since this was my fourth day running in a row. But each mile splits got faster and I ended my last mile with a sub-10:30 mile.

Saturday, September 23

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Since I did my run on Friday, Saturday was my rest day! The rain ended up holding off in St. Cloud for most of the day so I could have gotten my run in but I did my things for yoga. My parents have two goldens who “joined” me for yoga. It was more that they played near me and occasionally came over to sniff and lick me.

This was a very restful day for me, I got less than 10,000 steps which I was fine with. We went to an Alzheimer's benefit at a local brewery with my parents which was lots of fun...and meant beer and some pizza on top of the wine I had at the wedding. Plus we drove back that night to pick up Vinnie from Mike’s parents house so not too much walking in that day. I already had in my mind that long run the next day wasn’t going to be super great.

Sunday, September 24

8 miles ~ 1:30:23 ~ 11:16 min/mile average pace

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My final long run was pretty sucktastic compared to how I’d been feeling on my runs recently. I realized that yup, I have a cold (which I’m hoping starts moving out of my body soon). So that, on top of the alcohol and not paying much attention to what I was eating Friday and Saturday, made for a not so fun run.

But, I made it through it and it was horrible as it could have been. But my right quad did start feeling tight, like it was going to start having spasms like it did during my 18 miler after camping. The rest of the week is going to be making sure I get enough liquids in, hopefully getting rid of this cold and resting up with lots of foam rolling. I have just three runs before the marathon this week and two days of yoga. It’s getting close to marathon time!