This was my final week of high volume before my taper! I made it right through my long run on Sunday (yesterday) and then came down with a cold, which I’m battling now. I always get sick at the beginning of the school year so I’m glad it waited until my high volume weeks were behind me. I’m not feeling terrible, just a little off. My throat felt sort of scratchy yesterday so I knew something wasn’t right. I slept a TON last night and already seem to be feeling better today, so hopefully extra sleep combined with my reduced intensity for my taper with keep this at bay.
This was my highest volume week I’ve ever run. I’ve sustained 70+ mile weeks for the past three weeks now. This was the final mileage jump that I worked towards all summer long. My legs were really tired after the second week of this volume, and I didn’t know how I’d make it through my highest volume week yet. I just took it one day at a time. I was surprised at how focusing on individual days made it all seem less overwhelming and before I knew it, Sunday was here and it was over. Another added twist to the week was that I had Meet the Teacher night and a wedding, so fitting everything in was a challenge. I don’t think I’ve ever been more ready to taper than I am now. I like the volume I’ve been doing and I’m looking forward to doing it again in the spring for Boston training…but for now, I’m ready to rest, recover and RACE!
Monday, 9/14 – 8 Mile Recovery Run + Core/Yin Yoga
Even though my legs were screaming at me from the half marathon the day before, this got me inspired to run…
I registered at 10am on the dot. I can’t help it. I geek out over Boston! This will be my 6th consecutive Boston. I should mention that my aunt has a house in Brookline, and I can drive to Boston. While this marathon can be really pricey for most people, it’s really just the cost of registration for me (okay, and the jacket). I’m fortunate to have family so willing to open their doors and welcome us each year for the race.
Although my preference for running weather is 50s and overcast, I also couldn’t help but get excited by Weather Kitty as I sat at work all day knowing I had to head out for a run:
YAS. I mean, still warm. But on a shaded trail – YASSSS. I almost forgot about my dead legs…almost. They reminded me when I started running. Once I warmed up, I felt decent until about mile 6. That probably would have been a good place to stop but I was still two miles from my car, so I just slowed down, relaxed, and enjoyed the gorgeous weather. Overall pace, 8:32. Finished up with drills and MYRTLs, went home and did some core and some Yin Yoga to stretch out my sore legs. Honestly, it all felt okay considering the beating I gave my legs the day before.
Tuesday, 9/15 – 15 Mile Medium Long Run + Core
I’m drafting a post about this round of marathon training that I want to publish before the race – I just throw random thoughts in there about my workouts in general. One of the subjects is about this freaking mid-week “medium” long run. You see, good old Pfitzy refers to anything under 16 miles as “medium” long. On a Sunday morning, I may agree with him. I like 15 miles. It’s fun. But on a Tuesday (or any day during the week) afternoon in summer-ish weather, there is nothing “medium” about 15 miles. You might as well tell me I’m running a mid week 100 miler. Okay, I’m exaggerating.
This week wasn’t quite as hot, so it wasn’t QUITE as torturous. But it was Tuesday, and I just ran that half on Sunday so I wasn’t sure if I was even going to be able to handle 5 miles. The recovery run the day before wasn’t bad but I was ready to be done at the end. To follow suit with the last four weeks of these ugly runs, I forgot my GU. I had eaten quite a bit that day so I thought I would be okay – and for the most part, it was. My legs felt heavy for sure, but what did I expect two days out from the half? It wasn’t my worst one, but it wasn’t my best one. It wasn’t the most comfortable run ever, but it wasn’t the most uncomfortable run. I was glad when it was over, but I wasn’t so drained that I couldn’t function. I went home and did MYRTLs and core. Overall pace, 8:03. The promise of my Paleo Taco Pie for dinner was like the proverbial carrot to finishing the run!
Wednesday, 9/16 – Strength/PT/Core + 8 Mile General Aerobic Run + Pole Fitness
Headed to the gym for just about 45 minutes of strength training. When I only have a short amount of time, I split my workout up into circuits. With the higher mileage, I absolutely skip “leg day” since, well, everyday is leg day for me. I have a whole circuit that starts with arms, and I give myself 20 minutes for that. Next, I switch to PT – I have a few exercises I like to keep up with from my Achilles drama, so I spend 10 minutes doing those. I finish up with about 15 minutes of weighted ab exercises. I usually aim for closer to an hour of strength training, but if my ass is dragging it’s harder for me to get there earlier. Thought it was going to be a rough day all around, but then I got to work and saw THIS:
AHHHHHH! The BAA is on fire this year because that was pretty fast! I can’t wait! To follow suit with every other day for the past three weeks, my legs felt heavy on my afternoon run. I am so ready for this taper! I took it nice and easy on the beginning of the run, and then picked up the pace for the last 5K and was able to negative split the run. Overall pace, 7:55.
Thursday, 9/17 – A.M. 5 Mile Recovery Run + P.M. 5 Mile Recovery Run
Oddly enough, I’m starting to like these doubles. I think it’s because it still allows me to get in a good amount of miles, and I run them as recovery miles so there’s no pressure. Also, it’s nice to not have to go out and run all 10 miles at one time. My morning run felt pretty good, which is weird. I love running in the morning, but I dislike running from my house. I’ve mentioned it before, but the road I live on is less than ideal. I didn’t mind it today. After work, we had Meet the Teacher night so I decided to stay around the area where I work. I ran with one of my friends on the Ironton Trail – I don’t love that trail, but it was a nice day to run. Overall pace for the am run, 8:47 and 8:49 for the afternoon run.
Friday, 9/18– Track Workout: 6×1 Mile Repeats (11 miles total) + Core/PT
The whole “Meet the Teacher” night messed up my week in that I had to do a track workout on Friday. That was the LAST thing I wanted to do as I walked out of work. The school I teach for built a new track so I was planning to use that, but they were painting the lines on it so it was closed. Being as it was Friday night, I knew I would run into the problem with football games going on at the other schools track’s that I normally use, so I went to the treadmill. It was actually a pretty warm day so I wasn’t totally disappointed with my choice. I ended up having a fabulous run, treadmill and all. My McMillian range for mile repeats is 6:08-6:34. If my pace ranges seem a bit broad for my track workouts, it’s because I run the calculator twice. I run it once for my more recent marathon time of 3:14, but I also run it for my 3:06 from 2014. I believe in training at a level that you’ve already accomplished, but the 3:06 was a whole year before the 3:14 and my year of injuries, so I’ve been blending the two together.
I warmed up easy, and I did my repeats as follows: 6:31, 6:22, 6:18, 6:15, 6:10, 6:07. I walked a 400 in between each one, and I ran easy for the cool down. I was really worried that six would be too many, but my legs felt good for the whole workout. Overall pace, 8:20 and had enough energy for an ab workout and MYRTLs after.
Saturday, 9/19 – Pole Fitness
Slept in, went to an early pole class and did zero running! I hadn’t had a day off of running since Friday, September 4th. It felt GREAT. It’s not the most difficult move, but I finally got into my Superman pose:
It really rips your legs apart so I’ve never gotten that one before. I usually try it a few times but then move on because I can’t deal with it anymore, but I got this one twice in a row and was able to hold it – finally! We had a wedding to head to in the afternoon so pole class was my workout for the day.
Sunday, 9/20 – 23 Mile Long Run
Well, that happened. Longest training run I’ve ever done, outside of a marathon. I was bummed about this run all weekend: I had a wedding on Saturday night, making the food/sleep situation a bit of a gamble. I couldn’t really do this run on Saturday with my friends and get any sort of benefit from it since I had to do my track workout on Friday, due to Meet the Teacher night. Both Mark and Kathy had social obligations, making it impossible for them to change their run to Sunday. I was originally planning to run 22 miles. But I saw my mileage total for the week was going to be 74 miles with my 22 miler, and I needed to make it a round 75 before I began my taper. I told myself I was going to run 20-23 miles, but I knew in my head I was already committed to 23.
I managed to get into bed at a reasonable time and got up around 6 am without an alarm. I woke up and kind of felt like I was coming down with a cold. I almost just slept on my couch. I told myself I was just tired from the wedding and from the week in general. I forced myself out the door to give it a shot. I parked at Saucon Park to do a similar route to what I did when I ran 22 miles before Boston. For a run this long, I like to run the trail but do super hilly loops on the roads off of every trail head. The section of trail I really like gives you about 10 miles if you run out and back, so there is a significant amount of road running that happens when I do a run like this. It’s nice because the run ends up being really interesting and is over before you know it.
I was doing a warm up mile in the park and saw another runner coming towards me. It was Chris G., the super speedy local runner I ran 20 miles with a few weeks ago. I was half terrified and half excited when he saw me and said, “Oh, mind if I join you for a few miles? I’m doing about 12!” Of course I wouldn’t say no to that – and my plan of running negative splits went right out the window! We ran close to 12.5 miles together and they were FAST – way faster than I’d planned to run the second half of my run. There were a couple of sub-7 minute miles sprinkled in there, so when we got to the point in the run where we parted ways, I slowed down. I wasn’t completely beat up, but I still had over 10 miles to go and I didn’t have anyone pushing me, so I hung around the 7:50- 8:10 range for the rest of the run. My only real concern was that I really did feel like I was coming down with a cold. I grabbed some water when I was passing a water fountain and I could just tell by how my throat felt. At that point, it was around mile 19 and I just ignored it and finished strong. Overall pace, 7:38! I was happy, but my throat felt scratchy and I had a headache for the rest of the day. The run ended up with about 900 feet of elevation gain:
Now it’s time to hit my taper and keep this cold at bay! I’ll be in bed by 8pm every night, taking extra vitamin C and resting! Hartford is just a few short weeks away, and I’m starting to get EXCITED!
Swim: 0 meters ♥ Bike: 0 miles ♥ Run: 75 miles
How was your week? What’s the longest run you’ve ever done in preparation for a race? What are your favorite go-to cold remedies?