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Marathon Training – Week 2: Off Season is Over

I’m finally getting over this cold and feeling pretty normal again.  Man, what an energy drain that was.  But I survived week 1 of training and was looking forward to week 2.  This week was a mileage increase week according to the schedule.  I increased my overall mileage from 40 to 46.  I know that violates the 10% increase rule but not by much and I have run much higher mileage weeks in the recent past so I thought it was okay.

This week was another great training week.  It was challenging to add miles and fit those runs into my schedule but I made it work.  The hard part was getting up early 3 days during the week to run at 5 AM before work.   The awesome part about that was getting to run with my training partners on those mornings.  Even a hard workout doesn’t seem so hard when you run with a friend!  And I love getting my run done before doing anything else that day!

marathon

So here were my scheduled workouts for this week:

Monday:  6 miles easy and Body Pump

Tuesday: Rest or cross train

Wednesday: 6 miles speed work and yoga

Thursday: 10 miles marathon pace/hilly

Friday: 8 miles easy

Saturday: 16 miles conversational pace

Sunday: Body Pump, Spin, and/or Yoga

And here’s how it all went down:

Monday:  Finished 6 “easy” miles at Arbor Hills with Patricia.  I put easy in quotes because we were supposed to run at about a 10 minute mile pace.  Fail.  For some reason it’s hard to pace ourselves when we just run and talk.  We averaged a 9:30 overall pace so that was close enough.  These morning runs are so enjoyable for me.  We decided that these amazing 6 miles that we run every Monday will be our memory for the last 6 of the marathon.  I guess you could say that will be our happy place on race day :).  After work I managed to make it to the gym for Body Pump and CX Works.  I’ve definitely been away from those classes for too long!

Tuesday:  I didn’t feel the need for a rest day today so I opted for cross training and went to the gym for Body Combat.  I should probably confess here that I am not very coordinated or athletic so this class is a challenge for me because of the fluid movements and combinations.  I can handle the one foot in front of the other of running but throw in a punch and a kick and that’s a whole different thing!  But I enjoy the workout and eventually get the hang of the movements (then they change).  I probably look like a total dork doing it but whatever, I enjoyed it.

Wednesday:  Another great speed workout.  This one was very intentional since Patricia is running a half marathon this weekend.  The plan was to run 3 mile repeats at her race pace (9 minute miles).  First mile: 8:30 (oops).  Second mile: 8:45 (getting closer).  Third mile: 9:00 (YES!).  Apparently that wasn’t enough for Patricia so we threw in another half mile and nailed the pace!   I followed that up with yoga that evening.

Thursday:  I met Monica at 5 AM for our marathon pace/hilly run.  I was scheduled to run 10 but only had time for 9.  Yes, I could have started 10 minutes earlier but when you start at 5, 10 minutes is a big deal.  And when you make each mile count, it’s all good.  I had run sections of this area before but not all on the same run.  I think we found the hilly area we wanted to train on!  Since it was dark, we didn’t check our watches much but we held a solid pace.  I haven’t looked at our actual splits, but we averaged a 9 minute pace for the entire run, even with taking it really easy the last mile.  It was super nice to have that run done so early and be able to relax after work!  My legs were feeling it though!  That’s what made me realize that my “off-season” is over and I’m in full-on training mode now.

Friday:  Today was supposed to be an easy run day but I opted to move it to Sunday and take a nap after work instead.  I was still feeling the awesomeness (aka soreness) from yesterday’s run and wanted to be fresh for Saturday’s long run.  I definitely love the flexibility of this plan!

Saturday:  I’ve been looking forward to fall running since probably early June.  Well, today did not feel anything at all like fall.  The temperature was comfortable to the humidity was somewhere around 157%.  Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but not much.  It was super hard to breathe.  But after realizing how fast we were running on our “easy, conversational” long run, that could have contributed to the difficult breathing.  Regardless, we got 15 miles done and ended up with just under a 10:00 overall pace.  I haven’t looked at my splits yet (I don’t always obsess over the numbers) but know that our last few miles were NOT at a 10:00 pace.  We must have had some pretty quick early miles.  The last few miles were definitely an exercise in mental toughness.  That was my positive takeaway from this run….I am stronger than I realize and can get it done even when it gets challenging.  And this was a challenging run!

Sunday:  I was hoping to keep today as a complete rest day but since that ended up being Friday, I needed to get those miles in.  Honestly, I just didn’t feel like running today.  But after reading all the race results from my friends who ran today, I was motivated to get it done.  And I did!  For as much as I didn’t want to run (and that was a lot), I’m really glad I did and had a great easy run.  So thanks to my amazing running friends for inspiring me even when we aren’t running together!  Week 2 is done with a total of 44 miles!

I’m pretty pleased with my food choices this week.  I don’t really have “cheat days” or “cheat meals” but always try to eat well and make good choices.  On Saturday, I made choices that I wouldn’t ordinarily make.  They really weren’t that bad but I could definitely feel the difference.  So, back to clean eating today.  While I don’t regret it at all, it was a good reminder of how food can make you feel.  It’s also a good indication of how much the change in eating habits has really affected me.

Looking ahead to next week’s training, it’s going to be a tough week but I can handle it!  Knowing the week after that will be a cut back week is really helpful too 🙂

Congratulations to everyone that raced this week!  I know some of you had amazing runs and some weren’t as great as you had hoped for whatever reason but training for and finishing a race is an incredible accomplishment regardless of your time!

Did you race this weekend?  How did it go?

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