Eau Claire Marathon Training Week 18

It’s here, the final week of tapering and race day! So let’s just get into it!

Monday, April 30

20180430_183445.jpg

One last day of cross-training and I went into it feeling great! My allergies have started to kick in, along with the no caffeine, so I was worried I’d be too tired to do spin class. But I had a burst of energy before the gym and felt great through my strength training workouts and spin class.

Tuesday, May 1

3 miles ~ 32:07 ~ 10:40 min/mile

20180501_165556.jpg

Even though I had a great cross-training day, my legs felt so heavy on this run. And they didn’t feel like that during the work day so I’m not sure what was going on. I did get in a short yoga session after this run even though I didn’t have much time since I went to a gnome painting class that night. I had about an hour to stretch, shower and eat before I needed to head out and somehow I got it all in!

Wednesday, May 2

4 miles ~ 42:30 ~ 10:36 min/mile

20180502_155753.jpg

My legs felt so much better on this run. I had originally thought about doing hill repeats but once I got out of work (it was my last day before the marathon) I just wanted to run through the park. So I just went on an easy run and enjoyed the sunshine and warmth.

Thursday, May 3

20180503_123831.jpg

Rest day number one and I had a busy day even though I wasn’t working! I did a 60 minute Runners Love Yoga video after my morning walk with Vinnie and then headed out to run errands (including grocery shopping). Then, after I packed part of my stuff for the marathon, Vinnie and I headed to Minnehaha Falls for a walk. I haven’t walked down there (even though we’ve lived in St. Paul for almost four years) and it was gorgeous. Vinnie loved it and he was so exhausted afterwards. We also got in our nap for the day (and Vinnie continued to sleep throughout the rest of the afternoon).

Friday, May 4

Second rest day but we were busy with Mike’s sister’s college graduation. Vinnie and I got in a long walk in the morning along with an energizing morning yoga video. Even with all the driving, I still hit my 10,000 step goal for the day!

Saturday, May 6

2 miles ~ 20:36 ~ 10:16 min/mile

20180505_080310.jpg

Shakeout run day! Two quick miles before the marathon and my body felt great! Legs were moving fluidly, no strange aches or pains. The plan for the rest of the day is to travel to Eau Claire, head to the expo, get some dinner and relax.

Sunday, May 7

26.2 miles ~ 4:55:05 ~ 11:16 minutes/mile

I officially have a new marathon PR! Look for my race recap later in the week.

Training Tips Tuesday #18: Race Week Prep

Well, it’s finally here. I’m running my next marathon in just five days. But I’m still finishing out this week of taper and getting ready to travel. So how am I prepping this week?

Training Tips Tuesday Race Week Prep Pinterest.jpg

My big focus this week is going to be on recovery. I have two rest days (Thursday and Friday) but I’m also traveling in the car Friday (to my sister-in-law’s college graduation) and Saturday (to Eau Claire for the marathon). This is going to be a lot of time sitting so I’m going to be working earlier in the week on foam rolling and yoga.

I haven’t been doing my post-run yoga as often as I’d like to so my goal this week is to do it after every run. I’m also going to be adding in some gentle yoga sessions Thursday and Friday, nothing super intense but I’ll probably get in one session focused on hips and IT band.

I also have to work on getting packed. I’ve already started a list of what I need to bring and my goal is to get most of it packed on Thursday. That way, I can double check and make sure I’m not missing anything or add something in if the weather changes.

Last, I’m hoping to get in some more sleep. My sleep has been pretty good lately but Sunday night was just crappy. I woke up a couple of times and my allergies have started to kick into full gear. So I’m hoping to sleep through the night (thanks to Benadryl) and I’ll probably get in a nap Thursday and Friday.

What do you do to prep for a big race? Let me know in the comments!

Eau Claire Marathon Training Week 17

Week two of taper and now the mileage goes down a lot more! No more double digit runs and my long run is only eight miles. But it’s been gorgeous in St. Paul and I’m excited to get out for all the miles that I get to run. So let’s get into this week of training!

Monday, April 23

20180423_183642.jpg

Cross-training day with spin class and two strength training sessions again! It was gorgeous outside so I was a little bit sad to be cross-training instead of running. But I did get in a long walk in the morning with Vinnie and a walk during my lunch break. It was amazing to come out of the gym to sunshine and weather warm enough to drive home with the windows down.

Tuesday, April 24

4 miles ~ 41:40 ~ 10:17 min/mile

20180424_170312.jpg

Hill repeats earlier in the week this time but it was cutback to a four mile run this week. The taper magic was really working for me this day because it felt so easy even going faster than race pace. I looked down at my watch towards the end of my final mile and was so surprised to see a 10:09 pace at the end. 10:09!

Wednesday, April 25

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

20180425_153656.jpg

Sunny and gorgeous for a run after work! It was pretty easy except for a steep incline that was rough after I turned around. I normally haven't been running up it because of how icy the sidewalks were over the winter so I foolishly decided to attempt it on a warm, sunny day. Without carrying water because I forgot they haven’t turned on the fountains yet.

Thursday, April 26

4 miles ~ 41:18 ~ 10:19 min/mile

20180426_172105.jpg

Taper magic continues (although I did work on slowing down after my first mile was 10:12)! My last (and slowest) mile was 10:23 but the entire run felt nice and easy. It’s strange think this was my last Thursday run of this training cycle and I’ll be off of work next Thursday!

Friday, April 27

Rest day so lots of walking (just over 6 miles according to my watch) and yoga! My back has been feeling tight lately, probably because I spend so much time working on a computer, so I did a video focused on the lower back and hips. It was nice and easy, not difficult positions to get into and it felt amazing. I really felt some of the tension on my back go away once I was done.

Saturday, April 28

4 miles ~ 40:56  ~ 10:13 min/mile

20180428_084522.jpg

Since there was a race going on where I normally run (the Get in Gear 10K and Half which I ran in 2016), I decided just to run from our apartment. It was sunny (but a little bit chilly at first) and another great run!

Sunday, April 29

8 miles ~ 1:25:12 ~ 10:38 min/mile

20180429_095447.jpg

This was the last long run before Eau Claire Marathon! It felt really good, although I had a little bit of pain in my knee that went away as soon as I slowed down a little. Plus, Mike joined me on his bike so I wasn’t running on my own.
 

And there’s the penultimate week of marathon training done! I only have three runs this week before the race, nine miles total. Let me know how your last week of training went in the comments.

Embracing the taper magic

The other day I posted about my feelings about the taper blues during this marathon training cycle. How I'm feeling a little bit of anxiety and just extra energy. So today I want to talk about something else that's happening during this taper. Something  that I really haven't experienced before.

I've heard about other people going through what is called  taper magic, when your runs just feel awesome during tapering. This hasn’t ever happened to me. Until this taper.

Embracing the Taper Magic Pinterest.jpg

If you've been following me on Instagram or Twitter that I am running fast, right around race pace for most of my runs. And it’s feeling great running at that pace.

I don’t feel like I'm pushing myself on these run and I don’t feel like I'm going that fast until I looked down at my watch. For example, on my hill repeat run on Tuesday, I looked at  my watch towards the end and it was giving me a 10:09 pace for that mile. I almost didn’t believe it just because I didn't feel like I was pushing myself that hard.

So I'm not sure what quite to do during my taper right now. If I go off using my race pace to set my easy pace, I should be trying to slow it way down and not run as hard. But going off of effort running at a 10:30 pace is feeling really nice and easy right now.

What I'm going to do is just keep on running according to effort versus trying to slow down my pace,  especially as I'm getting down into these final runs before the marathon. So it will just be day-to-day on how I feel during a run. If running at around 10:30 feels easy one day great. If reading closer to 11 minute mile feels great, I'll go with that.

20180425_154151 (1).jpg

One other thing I've been finding going on with this taper magic is I'm not feeling the calf tightness and soreness I have been feeling for much of this training cycle. I have been focusing a lot more on mobility which helps a ton. But I thought for sure running 20 miles on the treadmill would mean I’d be feeling some soreness the next day. But I really haven't felt any of my usual tight or sore spots after that last high mileage week.

Of course this doesn't mean that I'm going to start backing off on my foam rolling and stretching. If I do that I know for sure it's going to come back. But it's nice to kind of feel like doing the foam rolling and taking time to stretch is actually doing something. Instead of doing all this work and still feeling tightness, soreness and sometimes even cramping.

So I guess you could almost say this has been my best feeling taper so far. Of course I don't want to jinx that because I still have a week of taper left with very low mileage. I have two rest days in a row that I'm going to still try and keep my activity level up since I'll be off of work with doing some yoga and walking but that could be the week where my body decides to rebel against me and the taper.

But I'm just going to trust that's going to continue feeling great in this last week. I’m not going to stress out about anything. I have enough stress about traveling for a race and running a marathon that I don't need to add on anymore stress.

Let me know in the comments if you've experienced deeper magic before and how is that race turned out for you.