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Marathon Training – Week 11

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This was another up and down week in many ways.  I was crazy busy between work, training, and life in general.  But I survived!  I didn’t have any time during the week to work on my blog so this will just be pieced together as much as I can remember it.  So here we go…..

Monday

I knew this would be a hectic day at work so I got up early to run.  I was scheduled for a 6 mile easy run so I got up early and knocked out 6 on the treadmill before work.  That worked out well since I ended up working late.  Can’t remember what I ate but I’ve eaten well all week.

Tuesday

Today was a 9 mile run with 6x800s.  I decided to run before work again today since I want to do all of my speed work outside and it has been very near 100 degrees outside.  So I was up at 4:00 a.m.  and at the park by 5.  Speed work is always tough but I was able to hit 5 out of 6 800s so I was pretty pleased with that.  Then to the gym for a shower and off to work.  Although I don’t really like getting up that early to run (or do anything else, for that matter), I was very glad to have my run done for the day.

Wednesday

I wasn’t expecting to work late today so I planned to go to the gym for body pump in the morning and then do a 7 mile run after work.  But when the alarm went off at 4:30, I decided to sleep in a little and go to body pump and run after work.  None of that worked out so I ended up taking a rest day.  I didn’t leave work until late so by the time I ran, it would have been pretty late so I decided to just have a nice dinner with my daughter.  And that’s what I did!  As much as I hate missing a run, it was well worth it to spend the time with her.  Sunday is a scheduled rest day so I figured I could make it up then.

Thursday

Today’s run was a 10 miler with 8 miles at marathon pace.  It was going to be way too hot after work to get in that many good miles so I knew it had to be done before work.  So again I got up at 4 and made it to the park by 5.  It was too hot already to hit marathon pace so I just went with it and did what I could.  I ended up running 10 miles at a 9:12 overall pace so I was happy with that.  And I actually got off of work on time so it was kind of like a free bonus night.  I was definitely glad to have that!

Friday

Friday was to be an easy 6 miles but since I missed Wednesday’s 7 miler, I decided to run 7 instead.  I never know how Saturday’s long run will go, so I really hate to have to run on Sunday.  I figured that if I decided not to run Sunday, I would feel better about missing a 6 mile run than a 7.  I know, I know….it’s just a mile….but running is a very mental thing and I don’t want to walk to the start line remembering the runs that I missed.  I was going to hit the gym after work for body pump but ended up working late again.  I really do plan to get back to body pump…

Saturday

After the crazy week, I was a little nervous about the 22 mile long run scheduled for today.  I was completely exhausted and had a somewhat bad attitude about doing anything, especially facing a 22 miler.  But, as it turned out, a couple of my running friends were dealing with similar feelings.  I guess we’re just to that point in our training that we’re tired and just ready to be done with it.  Fortunately, this week we decided to run at White Rock Lake for a change of scenery…and to get donuts after the run.  Early in the run, I really struggled with doubting that I would be able to complete all 22 miles.  A loop of the lake is about 15k so we needed to run it twice plus a little bit.  After getting a few miles into the second loop, we decided to try one of the trails off the main trail.  The thought of having to run by the car after running 18 miles was a little too much for any of us so following the other trail committed us to all 22 miles.  That was probably the best decision we could have made.  We got all 22 miles done and ended up with a 10:10 pace for the entire run (and that includes a couple of minutes that we stopped to talk to a friend that we ran into when I forgot to stop my watch).  It was hot and pretty miserable but we did it!  And at the end, I think we all had a better attitude and felt much better about our training.  I was really happy with the run and definitely have a whole new attitude…and it’s a good one :).  Then we went for donuts (don’t judge….I just finished running 22 miles).  I didn’t feel like eating them then so I just took them home and shared them with my daughter.

Sunday

I knew that I would be short on mileage after I skipped Wednesday’s run but I wasn’t 100% sure what I was going to do about it.  I planned on making up the 6 miles today but wanted to see how I felt after yesterday’s 22.  I was pretty surprised that I actually felt good.  I waited until late in the day and knocked out 6 miles on the treadmill.  And those 6 miles felt pretty good.  After the first mile, I realized that each step was part of my highest mileage week ever so that kept me motivated.  It wasn’t a fast 6 miles (and I didn’t intend for it to be) but it ended up being an incredible 6 mile run that topped off a 60 mile week and really helped with my confidence leading into the last 2 big weeks of training.

So, overall, the week had a happy ending and I’ve got a much more positive attitude heading in to this week.  This will be a cut back week so my long run will only be 18 miles.  It’s kind of sad when you reach the point that you actually look forward to an 18 miler because it’s not 22.  After this week, I will only have one more 60 mile week and the taper will begin.  I’m totally counting the days!

I know several of you that are reading this are experienced marathoners.  What advice would you give a first-time marathoner?  One of the incredible women that I am training with will be running her first marathon in South Dakota with us.  Any words of advice for her?

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