Eau Claire Marathon Training Week Four

Week four of marathon training was full of ups and downs, both in terms of weather and how my runs went. But at least I made it through and got one bad run out of myself before race day!

Monday, January 22

You know how we had temperatures near 40 last week and how I was talking about how amazing the weather was in Minnesota? Well, we had a huge snow storm heading our way on Monday.

I left work early (about noon) on Monday so I wouldn’t get stuck in traffic and got in my workout once I got back to the apartment. Since I had the time, I did thirty minutes on the elliptical before doing my strength training. I did swap out goblet squats for the bulgarian splits squats I was doing and it felt so much better! I also did day seven of #RLYglow in the apartment gym since there was no one else in there.

I also got in plenty of exercise walking Vinnie the rest of the day since he wanted to run in the snow! We ended up getting just over a foot of snow (as recorded at airport) on Monday and traffic was horrible. Mike had a safe (but slow) drive home since he left work at 2 p.m. I can’t imagine what our commutes would have been if we left at 4 or 5 p.m.

Tuesday, January 23

3 miles ~ 32:40 ~10:51 min/mile

And the snow fun continues! I decided to work from home since there was a huge drift up to my knees behind my car. There was no way my car was going to get out of the parking lot. And I had my work laptop at home already from leaving early Monday.

So, what’s a Minnesotan to do when there’s a foot of snow outside? Go for a run outside of course! Luckily, the city had plowed the paths at the regional park by our house so I just had to run via parking lots less than ½ a mile to get there. And the snow seemed to help my slow down my pace so I didn’t go out too fast!

When I got home (and VInnie got out for a short walk), I did the last day of #RLYglow and 15 minutes of core work. I’m hoping there’s another RunnersLoveYoga challenge soon since it’s an easy way for me to fit in yoga every day. And Vinnie loves to join in, this day he decided to take a nap on my mat after I was done!

Wednesday, January 24

6 miles ~ 1:05:23 ~10:53 min/mile

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to run down by the river on Wednesday due to the snow but luckily I got there and the path was plowed! The path was basically just packed down snow but it was better than there being no path at all. And I basically had the entire route to myself, I saw maybe five people while I was running.

My first mile I went way too fast, right at race pace, but I was able to get my speed under control for the rest of the run. Trying to keep myself stable on the snowy path had a lot to do with it since I was focusing on where I was stepping. So we’ll see how my pace run on Saturday goes since I’ll be running here again but Friday is supposed to be warmer and sunny. I might decide to run in the neighborhoods by the river if it looks like those paths are clearer. Plus, then I’ll run down Summit Avenue and look at all the mansions

Thursday, January 25

3 miles ~ 32:38 ~ 10:50 min/mile

One last weekday run to get in! I was working from home again since we were getting the carpets cleaned in the apartment. But, since they didn’t come until about 1 p.m. and I didn’t want to leave Vinnie kenneled up in case they came, I just waited until Mike got home to go out for my run.

The sidewalks were actually plowed now (except in front of two businesses) so I had a much easier time running. My first two miles were both 10:41 but I slowed it down for the last one to a little bit over 11 minutes. I was actually surprised my legs weren’t feeling more tired on this run since I remember that happening a lot during the last training cycle but I’m sure that will happen soon enough.

One more three mile run to end the work week runs! Now onto a rest day tomorrow 😁

A post shared by Jennifer Thiel (@jennifer.l.thiel) on

I got in my second core session for the week also, just a short eight minute one this time. I’m finding it a lot easier to get in core work since I’ve been using the NTC app. I have a couple pre-downloaded and there’s enough variety to keep my interested. Plus I don’t need a ton of space or extra equipment to get them in!

Friday, January 26

Another gorgeous Friday in Minnesota with highs near 40 again! Which of course meant the snow melting and that will not be great for weekend running. But at least it was nice enough outside for me to get out for a walk on my lunch break without a hat or gloves.

After I got home and took Vinnie on a walk (sidestepping all the giant puddles forming), I did a short hip opening Youtube video. It wasn’t until I did this video that I really understood how tight my hips are. My range of motion was really limited during several moves so hopefully focusing on stretching them after runs will help out with this.

Saturday, January 27

6 miles ~ 1:03:39 ~ 10:36 min/mile

Well, you know that everything melted on Friday. Not everything since there’s still a lot of snow out. But enough that it was pretty icy outside. And with a six mile pace run on the schedule, I decided it would be better to take it to the treadmill than to risk a fall outside. If it was an easy run, I probably would have run outside since I would be going slower.

And I ended up having my first sucky run of Eau Claire Marathon training. My first three miles were pretty great, right on that 10:30 pace but the last three went all over the place. 10:49, 10:17 and 10:54. And it was pretty disheartening that I struggled on the second half.

Part of the reason was probably that I had to slow down for a walk when drinking water (since I didn’t have my handheld) and I had to drink water a couple more times than I’d like. And that brings us to problem two.

It was freaking HOT in the gym by the time I got halfway through my run. I was drenched in sweat and beat red even though I was wearing a tank top and short shorts. Of course, I could have made it better if I had run at the apartment gym where I have complete control over the heat but still. I felt just defeated by the end of the run even though my average pace was pretty close to goal.

Sunday, January 28

13 miles ~ 2:22:19 ~ 10:56 min/mile

Back to running outside and feeling much better! We had stayed at my in-laws house overnight since we were watching their dogs so I was able to run straight from their house (not too far from the river where I normally run). Because I wasn’t sure of how clear of ice the paths by the river were, I instead headed down Summit to the capitol for most of my run.

I felt so much better on this run, which is probably why I went too fast for the first four miles. Most of the my run was pretty flat which helped along with it being cooler than the gym was the day before. Plus, I got to look at the mansions along SUmmit in the winter. Something that I haven’t done much since my winter runs haven’t been too long in the past.

I had a couple of miles right around 11:30 (miles 8 and 13). I think mile 8 was slow because I was trying to get back down to the 11 minute mile pace (and probably had to carefully run across some bigger patches of ice). I know for sure that last mile was slow because I had stopped at the port-a-potty (couldn’t make it the last mile to the in-law’s house) and it’s hard getting going again in 10 degree weather!

And there’s week four in the books! Even though the week almost ended with me in a bad mood, I’m glad my long run was much better. The weather for week five looks like it will be cooler but at least consistent for once! Plus, I’ll continue listening to my audiobook on Margaret Douglas on my runs and it feels good to be back to audiobooks on the run.

How did your last week of training go? Let me know in the comments!