Eau Claire Marathon Training Week 5

Week five of marathon training, going into month two of marathon training. It’s crazy how fast this is going. The Eau Claire Marathon is going to be here before I know it! This week was an increase in mileage but also switching around some runs because of the weather (of course).

Monday, January 29

I was a little worried about how I was going to be feeling on Monday morning. I haven’t run over 10 mile since Twin Cities Marathon and I didn’t do the best job of foam rolling after my long run. Luckily, even though I was sore at work, once I got done with twenty minutes on the elliptical I felt pretty good.

Still, I could feel the 31 miles from the previous week as I went through my weights workout. Nothing painful or like the weights felt heavy, I could just feel the mileage on my body. It’s hard to explain if you aren’t a runner but the muscle soreness from a  run is just strange. It’s not just my legs but my arms and back. But mostly in my legs.

Tuesday, January 30

3 miles ~ 32:32 ~ 10:48 min/mile

I did not have high hopes for my energy levels on this run. Vinnie had woken up at about 1 a.m. with an upset stomach so Mike and I had a pretty interrupted night’s sleep. It was also supposed to be windy and cold which I was not looking forward to. The cold isn't a big deal anymore but adding in 17-18 mph winds makes a big difference.

Luckily, it didn’t feel as windy as I thought it was going to be and I felt pretty good on this run! My calves were super sore (still because of not foam rolling enough on Sunday) but I kept it at a 10:50 pace for the first two miles. And then sped up to 10:40 for the last mile somehow. Oh well, progress over perfection!


After I got home, I did a 15 minute core workout and more foam rolling. Plus I got Mike to give my calves a massage before bed so hopefully the extra soreness starts to go away.

Wednesday, January 31

7 miles ~ 1:17:00 ~ 10:59 min/mile

It was gorgeous and sunny for my Wednesday run, although it wasn’t super warm. But warm comparatively to the sub-zero temperatures so I wasn’t complaining. And the paths were pretty clear of snow and ice which is surprising with how the weather has been lately.

I started off this run with a mile right at race pace but I quickly was able to hold myself back. I can tell it’s getting easier for me to find that easy pace on my runs. I’ve still got to work on going out too fast especially since the Eau Claire Marathon starts off with hills. If I go out too fast there, my legs are going to be toast.

The rest of my miles were right around 11 minutes but I had two at 11:15. Which I wasn’t too happy to see at first but then I had to remind myself that these runs are about getting mileage on my legs at an easy pace. I’m aiming for 30 seconds slower than race pace but I’ve seen “easy” pace as 30 to 90 seconds slower than race pace. It’s a lot of mental work and not paying too much attention to the watch on my easy and long runs. Easier said than done.

Thursday, February 1

3 miles ~ 33:13 ~ 11:01 min/mile

Well, back to the treadmill with the weather. It was about -15 with the windchill so there was no way I was running outside. The wind was just wicked and it wasn't worth it for three miles. But at least it meant I crushed my pacing on this run pretty easily since I was just setting the treadmill and running. And I was nice and warmed up for eight minutes of core work after my run!

Three miles on the treadmill today and I crushed running at my easy pace!

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

One thing that really bugged me was there was someone on one of the other treadmills (I was at my apartment gym where we have treadmills so there was one machine in between us) who decided to take a phone call mid-run. For 15 minutes he was running and basically yelling so the person on the other end could hear him. I kept on shooting nasty glances.

Please do not take phone calls while working out. Either tell them you’ll call them back or get off the machine and to a more private area to take the call. I don’t need to hear you diagnosing someone with what you think is pneumonia over the phone.

Friday, February 2

As I get further into marathon training, I’m appreciating Friday rest days more and more However, it would help if I could get out for a walk midday to stretch my legs without worrying about frostbite. Once again, it was below freezing so I didn’t meet my step goal for the day.

But I did get in a quick, 15 minute yoga session even if I didn’t get in as many walks as I would like. My back was a little bit sore from sitting all day at work (I don’t always have the best posture by the end of the day) so this video focused on hamstring stretches, hip openers and twisting poses felt really good.

Saturday, February 3

14 miles ~ 2:36:23 ~ 11:10 minute/mile

Surprise, I did my long run on a day early! It’s supposed to be sub zero-temperatures and very windy Sunday morning so I figured it would be better to switch my runs around instead of running 14 miles on the treadmill.

So instead of being stuck inside for 14 miles, I did a lovely out and back along the Mississippi in the snow. It was falling the entire time which made it gorgeous but also hard to see with the wind at points. I saw a good amount of people running too which I was surprised at but it was nice to have company on the trails.

As you can tell, I managed to slow down my pace on this run too. I had a couple of miles below 11 minutes at the beginning but the rest of the time I was running between 11:00 and 11:30 minute pace (with one 11:40 mile). It felt good to be running slower on this one but running strong with the elevation changes.The only downside is that my audiobook started cutting out at the very end because my headphones got so cold!

Since I use Smashrun to view data for my runs, it was fun to see this run compared to my 14 miler during Twin Cities Marathon training (which was my first run past the half marathon mark!). There was a 60 degree difference between the two runs and I ran today’s 10 minutes faster. I ran a pretty similar route between both runs so I can tell I’ve gotten stronger in my running in the almost seven months between the two runs.

Sunday, February 4

7 miles ~ 1:17:21 ~ 11:03 min/mile pace

Since I did my long run the day before, my legs were really sore when I woke up Sunday morning. Sore enough that I foam rolled before getting on the treadmill to help get my legs loosened up a little more. And I think it did help a little bit.

My legs still felt pretty dead by the end of my run. Luckily, I had the gym to myself almost the entire time I was running (some people were there for about 15 minutes) so I was able to turn the heat down. I was able to keep a pretty consistent pace but I was struggling in the last mile to finish it out.

The first thing I did after my run was to grab a mat and lay down with my legs up against the wall. This felt so amazing, mainly because I was so worn out that laying down felt good. But just being in an inverted position helped keep everything moving in my legs (without having to physical activity) and it stretched out up my hamstrings. I’ll be trying to incorporate this more often post-run to see if it has an effect on how sore I feel.

And there’s week five of marathon training in the books. Next week is a cutback week and also I have my first of 2018: the TC Valentine’s Day 5K!

How did your last week of running go? Let me know in the comments.