Highest volume week yet to wrap up the month of February! My body was tired by Sunday, but my legs still felt pretty good. I did my first round of strength workouts in place of my track workout, and it was a lot of fun. I can certainly see how these workouts are going to build speed and endurance over the next 6-7 weeks. I have a bit of a recovery week on the schedule for week 12, and it’s going to feel great after the week I just had.
Here’s the pace guide I’m using:
Marathon Goal – 3:05
Marathon Pace/Tempo Runs – 7:03/mile
Recovery Runs – 9:11/mile
Aerobic A/Easy – 8:36
Aerobic B/Easy – 8:01
Long Run: 7:42
Monday, 2/22: 10 Mile Easy Run+ Core/MYRTLs + Pole Fitness
This run is the reason why I’m a runner. It was after work, and I had 6+ miles on the schedule. I’ve been running a few extra miles on Mondays. Hanson’s plan states in the program modifications that easy runs are a good place to add miles. They suggest extending your easy days to 10+, so for awhile I hovered around eight miles on days where six was on the schedule, but starting last week I bumped it up to 10. I do this with the understanding that if I’m not feeling it, I’m fine with cutting the run at six and calling it a day.
There was no cutting it at six, and if I had more time I might have even considered running longer that day. It was absolutely gorgeous out – 50 degrees and sunny. I had shorts with me. Shorts in February! I went to the D&L trail in Northampton with a few of my friends from work. Missy was running eight miles, Leigh was aiming for six. Missy and I did two miles together to warm up since we got to the trail before Leigh, and then we all got started. We all fell into our own paces and didn’t stick together, but it was so gorgeous out that I just zoned and enjoyed the weather. I felt like I could run forever.
As I was heading down the trail to finish my run, I just kept thinking, “This. This is why I’m a runner.” That run was the reason why I try my best to run what’s on my training plan each week. This run is why I try to eat healthy, and get a lot of sleep. To be able to go out and just run comfortable and happy on a trail for however many miles I felt like running. That’s what it’s all about for me. And I think over the past few years, I lost sight of that as I’ve been chasing my marathon goals. I needed a run like this!
After the run, I did some core/MYRTLs and headed to pole class. We took a break from competition practice and learned a few new tricks using some different grips. We used a forearm bracket grip, which I actually really love and something called a football hold. It was fun to learn something new.
Tuesday, 2/23: Track Workout: 3 mile warm up, 6×1 mile w/400 meter recoveries, 2.5 mile cooldown (13 miles) + Strength/Core/MYRTLs
I was so excited for this workout for two reasons: first of all, it’s different from almost anything I’ve ever done. Second, it was so long but the pace was reasonable that I could do it outside and on the roads to avoid running around the track a gazillion times. Except it was about 35 degrees and we were being hammered with rain/sleet, so guess who ended up on the treadmill AGAIN. I’ve never spent so much time on a treadmill as I have this winter. Which is so weird, because the weather hasn’t been as horrendous as the past two years.. But I also have more focused workouts this winter, so hitting certain paces has been a big part of my training.
I headed to the gym and got it done. The focus was to do 6×1, but to do them at marathon pace minus 10 seconds per mile. I’m aiming for a 7:03 pace, so ideally I should run these at 6:53. I set the treadmill for 8.8 mph (6:48 pace) since it was the closest without going over and it actually felt good.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you this workout was easy. It wasn’t. It also wasn’t the most awful thing ever. Surprisingly, I warmed up and cranked up the treadmill and was able to knock them down pretty comfortably. It actually got me thinking of a workout I did once on the track when I was working with Kenrick, my former coach. A few weeks before my marathon, he had me to 8×1 mile at 6:45 pace. I remember getting that workout done on the track, and I remember it being really hard. Like 6:45 pace that day felt the way my 5K pace currently feels. I don’t necessarily think it was a bad workout or I was in worse shape then – I still cranked out some fast marathons that season. I think what might make this workout seem more effective and approachable now is the fact that I’ve built up to it.
After the workout, I did core, MYRTLs, and the Nike Training Club workout (Runner Strength and Balance) from the past two weeks.
Wednesday, 2/24: Arc Trainer, 20 min + Barre Strength + Core + Pole Fitness
It was pouring so I knew that ski club was canceled, but I headed to the gym anyway because I like the short workout I do on Wednesday morning. I think it helps get my legs all flushed out from the track work the day before. I started with my Nike Training Club Barre Strength routine, which is really tough and effective. Instead of the elliptical, I tried the arc trainer to change things up. It seems like a similar workout to the elliptical.
I had a productive night at pole class making my way through my routine. I still have segment that needs some choreography, and I need to actually do it to the music, but it’s coming along.
Thursday, 2/25: 14 miles w/8 at Marathon Pace + Abs/MYRTLs
Tempo day! Is it sick and twisted that I was actually excited for it? Because I was. It was a rainy ugly morning, but I didn’t have to do it until the afternoon. Oh, and I saw a pretty rainbow on my way to work and figured it was a good sign.
The run didn’t start well, and while I hit my paces it didn’t feel quite as effortless this week. It was still fun and productive, though. First of all, as I was leaving work I realized I forgot socks. I can’t run without them. I know some people do, I just can’t imagine doing it. I grabbed a small coffee and luckily, there is a Sports Authority en route to my preferred trail.
I’m driving to the trail, and its doing some weird wintery mix thing. A little rain, snow and sleet. Not very hard, but it was dreary and super windy. Like whipping my car around windy. Pulled up at the trail and yes, I change in my car. Except not only did I forget socks, but I forgot a sports bra. I was thisclose to saying “fuck it, I’m going home”. I decided I would just wear my regular bra (ugh!) and suck it up. At this point, I felt defeated and like the task ahead was so daunting.
I tried to keep the warm up a little easier than last week, and the tempo miles were about the same. I know I need to stay closer to the 7:03 pace. But I have a really hard time finding that pace. I can go faster, I can go slower, but I can never just nail it. I know it seems good that I can bust out the pace faster, but I don’t need to be moving faster. As soon as I start to slow down, I slow down too much. I can’t seem to find that sweet spot. It’s a bit concerning. I want to hold 7:03 in Boston, and I need to get used to what that feels like.
Sure, I would love to hold 6:50s in Boston but I just don’t think I have the fitness to back that kind of pace up. I’m not saying I’m incapable, I just don’t think the timing is right and I haven’t done the work yet. I haven’t broken 3:10 in over a year, so I can’t expect to show up and break 3 hours. 10 whole minutes is a huge jump.
I didn’t finish the tempo out as fast as I did last week, but it was still solid. Overall pace, 7:24. I felt good once I got moving, and the cool down felt better this week. By the final mile, I was tired. I went home and did MYRTLs and abs, including a Nike Training Club workout called Fearless. I hadn’t done that one in awhile and it features a bunch of V-sits and the things that I usually shy away from. It didn’t get any easier!
Friday, 2/26: 8 Mile Recovery Run + Core+ Pole Fitness
UGH. AGAIN. THIS FREAKING RUN.
I dread this thing more than I dread anything else all week. I think because it’s dark and early. My legs actually weren’t sore, but my body was tired. It wasn’t as cold as last week but it was windy. FML. I almost called it at 3 miles (I pass my house at 3 miles) but I told myself, “Instead of 8, just do 6. It’s an easy out and back to make it 6.” Once I got to six, I felt okay so I told myself to go an extra half mile to make it seven. And once I got to seven, I convinced myself to go one more half mile because then all I had was a 2.5 mile run back and I would be at eight. I actually didn’t feel terrible towards the end, but it took some convincing to get me through it.
At pole class, I showed up with a new song for my competition piece. I’ll do a post on it soon. I thought the studio owner was going to lose it since I’ve been practicing the Bieber song since the beginning of January! I was completely done choreographing the Bieber song. I just wasn’t into it, and I felt like the movements had to be so rushed in order to fit all of the choreography in with the music. However, I made some progress with the new song and can use almost all of the choreography from the old one in some way.
Saturday, 2/27: Long Run, 18 Miles Run + Pole Fitness + Core/MYRTLs
This was just a long morning. Due to some plans in my schedule for next week, I had to do my long run on Saturday. I couldn’t do it on Sunday because I have to move my track workout to Monday, and I certainly didn’t want to do them back to back. So Saturday morning, at the ass crack of dawn, I met Mark and Kathy. We met around 6 am, which should be illegal on a Saturday morning. The run was pretty uneventful. I didn’t feel too awesome, but I got it done. I seemed to perk up around mile 12 and dropped a bunch of faster miles, so we negative split the run. Overall pace, 7:33 and much closer to my long run pace. Lately, those have been a bit too fast.
I just didn’t feel awesome running. My legs felt a little tired, and my body was a lot tired. My stomach was a bit upset, but nothing unbearable. I think part of the problem was that I’m more recovered from Thursday’s tempo by Sunday, and I don’t start at Dark O’Thirty anymore. For awhile, I really hated and dreaded the long run but lately I’ve enjoyed it…until this past Saturday. It’s definitely the timing of the Saturday run that makes it less enjoyable.
I made it to the 9 am pole class and stayed until noon working on my new song. By the end, I actually had the entire song choreographed AND I could run through the whole thing! The studio owner was pretty excited at this point, as she was worried I would be setting myself back. Now all I have to do is just keep practicing the routine. I’m really excited about all of the changes I made and will post some clips soon.
At home, I did my core and my MYRTLs before going to get one of my sister-in-laws famous gel manicures:
Sunday: 2/28: 10 miles + Core/MYRTLs
It was a gorgeous day and I met Emily mid-morning for a run. We did 10 easy miles, and it was perfect out! We kept the pace easy, 8:17, and I took her on one of my favorite new routes through Saucon Valley. At home, I followed it up with MYRTLs/core, including a Nike Training Club workout called Core Stability. I also spent some time stretching and foam rolling.
How was your week? How is your race training going? Do you ever have a run on your schedule that you just want no part of?
♥ Total ♥ 73 miles ♥